Sydney: The Australian state of Victoria saw a reduction of new Covid-19 infections by reporting 1,466 new locally acquired cases on Tuesday.
The number brought the overall number of active cases to 19,627 when the state is battling the nation’s largest outbreak of Covid-19, Xinhua news agency reported.
On Saturday, Victoria recorded 1,965 new cases, the highest number ever recorded since the pandemic arrived in Australia in early 2020.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the fall in numbers was a good sign, telling reporters that “we obviously hope that trend continues.”
Any reduction in cases would be most sorely welcomed by the state’s medical system which is struggling to cope with the unprecedented workload.
The situation is particularly dire in the state capital of Melbourne, the epicenter for the outbreak.
Despite lockdowns, isolation restrictions and steadily growing vaccination numbers, the hospitals are still struggling.
The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) has increased its intensive care unit (ICU) capacity, creating another 14 ICU beds for non-Covid patients, in addition to 20 beds for Covid-19 patients in an air-sealed environment.
There are about 700 patients battling Covid-19 in the state’s hospitals, with the number of severe cases more than doubling in the past fortnight.
RMH director of emergency medicine Mark Putland told local newspaper Herald Sun that his department was getting up to 50 Covid-19 patients a day.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 statistics in the state of New South Wales (NSW) continue to trend downwards with 360 new cases recorded in the 24 hours up to Monday.
Overall, there have been 63,686 cases since the first one was detected in the NSW capital of Sydney on June 16.
The state has also had 444 related deaths, including five in the last 24-hour period.