Global report: Australia sees record daily case rise as global infections pass 17m

State of Victoria reports 723 new cases and 13 deaths; US deaths pass 150,000; Japan lifts ban on re-entry or some foreign residents

Australia has reported a record rise in coronavirus infections and deaths, with the state of Victoria announcing more than 700 new cases and 13 deaths, as the state continues to battle significant outbreaks in the aged care sector and among healthcare workers. It comes as global cases passed 17m, after five of the last seven days saw one-day jumps of more than 250,000 new infections.

The 723 new cases announced by the Victorian premier Daniel Andrews marked the 25th consecutive day of triple-digit increases in Australia’s second most populous state. Ten of the 13 deaths are believed to be connected to aged care homes. Australia’s previous deadliest day was Sunday, when 10 people were reported to have died.

Brazil’s outbreak set a national daily record on Wednesday with 69,074 new confirmed cases and 1,595 related deaths.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has warned the city is on the brink of a large-scale outbreak and urged people to stay indoors as much as possible as strict new measures take effect.

In New Zealand, a 32-year-old man has been arrested after attempting to escape a managed quarantine facility.

In Saudi Arabia, a scaled-down hajj has begun. This year, for the first time in modern history, Saudi officials have drastically restricted the number of pilgrims allowed to participate and enforced strict new health measures. Just 10,000 Muslims, all already inside the kingdom, are being allowed to perform the hajj – 0.4% of last year’s 2.5 million attendees from across the globe.

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