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World News

Australia's active COVID-19 cases hit four-month low

FILE PHOTO: People walk down a city laneway after coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions were eased for the state of Victoria, in Melbourne, Australia, October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian officials said on Friday there just under 200 active cases of COVID-19 in the country, the lowest number in more than four months and well down from a peak of just over 8,000 in mid-August.

Officials reported just 11 new infections in the past 24 hours, the bulk of which were people already in hotel quarantine after arriving from overseas.

Australian states and territories have begun further relaxing domestic travel bans, although some restrictions remain.

In Victoria state, which accounts for more than 90% of the country’s 905 COVID-19 deaths, a weeks-long stringent lockdown in the city of Melbourne was eased earlier this week.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Friday said her state would reopen to visitors from neighbouring New South Wales, with the exception of Sydney residents.

Australia has recorded just over 27,500 novel coronavirus infections, far fewer than many other developed countries.

Reporting by Colin Packham; editing by Jane Wardell

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