Australian officials tried to contain a fresh outbreak of the novel coronavirus on Monday (June 22), telling residents in the cluster hotspots to avoid travel outside their suburbs in Melbourne, the country's second-largest city.
The Victorian government has said it would reimpose restrictions on social gatherings after the surge in new cases it says has been caused by family get-togethers attended by people with mild symptoms.
Despite the spike in cases in Victoria, Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged states and territories to continue removing the bulk of social distancing restrictions by the end of July.
Australia had reported nearly 7,500 coronavirus cases and 102 deaths as of Sunday (June 21).
SCOTT MORRISON: We said there would be bumps along the road. We said there would not be zero cases. We said there would be outbreaks. So the fact that there are outbreaks should not come as a surprise. This is a COVID-19 pandemic that is intensifying around the world, and Australia still remains, by a very long stretch, in a very good position.
This is part of living with COVID-19. And we will continue on with the process of opening up our economy and getting people back into work, but there will be setbacks from time to time. But we've built up the systems to deal with the setbacks.
BRENDAN MURPHY: The risk is there for the long term. We have done so well in Australia. And our strategy always envisaged that we'd get some outbreaks, and this outbreak in Victoria did concern us. There's no question about that that the rate of rise and the fact that it was community transmission late last week caused significant concern.
Our testing remains very strong. We've done 2 point million tests-- 2.1 million tests across a population of 26 million, which is pretty impressive.