Fri, 30 Oct 2020

CANBERRA, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Australia has reported 27,000 cases of COVID-19 so far, about eight months after health authorities confirmed the first case in the country.

As of Friday afternoon, there have been exactly 27,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the number of new cases in last 24 hours is 18.

The national death toll increased by eight to 869, with all new deaths reported in Victoria, the hardest-hit state by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Of the new cases, Victoria confirmed 14 and New South Wales reported four more cases.

"Within Victoria, nine of the new cases are linked to outbreaks or complex cases and five are under investigation," said a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria.

"Seven of today's eight deaths are linked to known aged care facility outbreaks. To date, 781 people have died from coronavirus in Victoria."

The number of active cases of COVID-19 in Victoria has fallen 86 percent since Aug. 25 from 3,651 to 482 on Friday, the first time it has been below 500 in about two months.

As the second wave of infections subsides, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel that have been helping states patrol their closed domestic borders will be reassigned to help with quarantine arrangements.

"In the end it's the states that want to impose state borders," he told Sky News Australia on Friday.

"If that's what they want to do and that's what they think is warranted then it's a matter for the states to ensure they've got the means and tools in place to manage those borders.

"Australia is not designed to have state borders on an ongoing basis."

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