Victoria state records lowest daily rise in Covid-19 cases in a week

SYDNEY: Australia's Victoria state reported just three new Covid-19 cases yesterday, its lowest single-day rise in more than a week, a day after a snap lockdown in the state capital of Melbourne was extended for another week.

The state has endured four lockdowns since the pandemic began, the longest lasting more than 100 days late last year.

The three cases came from record daily tests of more than 57,500 people, bringing total cases to 61. It was revised from 63 after two false positives.

Under mounting pressure and with an election likely within a year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday announced a plan to pay up to A$500 (S$512) a week to people in lockdown.

The payments would be given to people over the age of 17 who cannot work from home and have less than A$10,000 in liquid assets.

Mr Morrison is being criticised for a slow vaccine roll-out and his refusal to help state governments build quarantine centres. - REUTERS