The number of new Covid-19 patients identified each day in the Australian state of Victoria has begun to stabilize thanks to strict lockdown measures, the government said Saturday.
“Certainly we’re seeing some stabilization in numbers, we’ve got four to five hundred cases each day that has been more or less the average for the last week,” said Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.
A total of 446 new cases and 12 deaths were recorded Friday, according to Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews. Sutton said that the government's models showed the lockdown measures prevented about 20,000 cases.
In May, Australia was held up as a global model for its handling of the outbreak, which started with early measures to bar entry from high-risk countries. Stricter curbs on social gatherings, expanded testing, restaurant and bar closures followed as cases rose, with some states sealing their borders.
But Covid-19 cases in Victoria rose suddenly in recent weeks, with many new infections in aged care homes and among healthcare workers. Authorities responded by instituting some of the most stringent movement restrictions in Australia's history.
Sutton said the government will not see the results of an even stricter lockdown for another week.