Coronavirus live news: WHO reports record global case rise as Sydney tightens overseas arrivals

Coronavirus live news: WHO reports record global case rise as Sydney tightens overseas arrivalsJuly 19, 2020

Global daily cases increase by over a quarter of a million; Sydney to limit overseas arrivals to 350 per day from Monday; Restrictions tightened in Barcelona. Follow the latest updates

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  • See all our coronavirus coverage

Still in Australia, public housing residents in North Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, will be released from a two-week ‘hard’ lockdown after the Covid-19 outbreak in Victoria prompted the state government to enforce a dramatic lockdown of a number of residential towers in the city.

The enforced shut-in of public housing residents at 33 Alfred Street since 4 July ended late Saturday night, meaning they can now leave their homes for food, medicine, exercise, study and work – like the rest of Melbourne.

A quiet morning in North Melbourne as the folks in the public housing tower at 33 Alfred St wake up to freer movement. After two weeks of a hard lockdown they now subject to Stage 3 restrictions like the rest of Metro Melb and Mitchell Shire.

Australia’s two largest states will hope Sunday brings good news as both Victoria and New South Wales grapple with Covid-19 outbreaks.

On Saturday Victoria, which is in the grips of a second-wave outbreak, recorded 217 new cases of the virus well down from the record 428 the previous day. Victoria’s capital, Melbourne, is currently in a six-week lockdown as it attempts to get the caseload under control.

In NSW the state government is sweating on the status of a few recent outbreaks which have seen cases increase in recent days. The original cluster, at the Crossroads Hotel in Casula in Sydney’s south-west, is now above 40 cases. But the state’s health officials are scrambling to establish links between that outbreak and other recent cases including at a Thai restaurant in western Sydney.

NSW recorded 16 new cases on Saturday, including five which have not yet been linked to any known outbreak. On Saturday the NSW deputy chief medical officer Jeremy McAnulty said authorities remained “really concerned” by the cases with no known source of community transmission.

“The good news is the majority of cases have been able to be linked together,” he said. “We are still investigating those five cases from yesterday. We are hopeful a link will emerge between all those cases, we haven’t given up doing that.”

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