“Nobody is enjoying being locked at home. It is frustrating, it is challenging, but the strategy will be successful if we all play our part,” Daniel Andrews, the premier of Australia’s Victoria state said Saturday.
Victoria’s capital city of Melbourne has begun a six-week lockdown because of a spike in coronavirus cases.
Victoria reported 216 new cases Saturday, down from the 288 on Friday.
“We will see more and more additional cases,” Andrews said. “This is going to be with us for months and months.”
Australia’s seven other states and territories reported 11 new cases Saturday.
Anthony S. Fauci, the top U.S. infectious-disease expert, has warned the pandemic is worsening in the U.S. because the country lacks a coherent strategy to contain the virus.
“As a country, when we compare ourselves to other countries, I don’t think you can say we are doing great—I mean, we’re just not,” Fauci said in a recent interview.
Fauci suggested earlier this week that states struggling to combat the virus “should seriously look at shutting down,” despite state efforts to reopen in order to revive their economies.
On Friday, the United States reported more than 65,000 new infections, the latest in a string of record-breaking days.
The U.S. remains the hardest hit country, with about one-quarter of all confirmed infections and fatalities worldwide. As of early Saturday, more than 3.1 million people in the U.S. had contracted COVID-19 and more than 134,000 had died from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University.
California has announced that it will release 8,000 prisoners by the end of August in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus in the penal system. Half of the more than 3,000 prisoners in the state’s San Quentin prison are reported to have tested positive for the virus.
A bus driver died in France Friday. He was beaten earlier this week in Bayonne by passengers who refused his request that they wear face masks, which are mandatory in France on public transportation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted Friday the decision to allow bars and other businesses to reopen may have been “too soon.” His admission was made as the country’s health ministry reported 1,500 new cases, a record single-day high.