Australia recorded its highest day of coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, despite a slowdown in the rate of infection.
The country recorded 19 deaths in total, all in the state of Victoria, while only 337 people tested positive for the virus nationwide – a two-week low.
Despite the rise in the number of people dying, officials are hopeful that the COVID-19 outbreak is beginning to decline after strict nationwide lockdowns.
Victoria’s restrictions were extended more than a month ago amid a rise in infections in the state, and will continue for another five weeks.
Non-essential businesses have been closed and overnight curfews have been put in place.
Neighbouring New South Wales has also seen a small outbreak, and people have been urged to limit their movements and social activity in the state.
Various other territories across the country have closed their borders to each other in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus and it is thought that travel restrictions around the country will be in place until Christmas.
Unemployment in Australia is expected to peak at 14% this year, with the economy slipping into its first recession in 30 years, as a result of social distancing measures.
Australia has recorded just 313 coronavirus-related deaths during the outbreak, and 21,397 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
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