Asia Today: Sources of many cases in Victoria untraceable

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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

A woman waits to give a nasal swab sample to test for COVID-19 at a medical camp in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020. As India hit another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, crossing 2 million cases and more than 41,000 deaths, community health volunteers went on strike complaining they were ill-equipped to respond to the wave of infection in rural areas. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

MELBOURNE – The premier of Australia’s Victoria state says more than 2,700 active cases have no known source and remain the primary concern of health authorities.

Victoria on Sunday saw a welcome drop in its new COVID-19 cases with 394 but a record 17 deaths, including two people in their 50s. It took the hard-hit state’s toll to 210 and the Australian total of deaths to 295.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said confirmed cases also include almost 1,000 health care workers.

The city of Melbourne has been under tough restrictions since a week ago, including an overnight curfew and mandatory wearing of masks, but won’t see the results of their efforts for another one to two weeks.

Almost 270 Victorian residents have been fined over the past 24 hours for breaching the restrictions, including a man helping a friend to move a television 27 kilometers (17 miles) across the city.

Victoria Police issued 268 fines to individuals in the past 24 hours, including 77 for curfew breaches and 38 for failing to wear a mask when leaving home.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— The Indian Medical Association says 196 doctors have died of COVID-19 so far and, in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requested adequate care for physicians and their families. The Health Ministry on Sunday recorded nearly 64,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours for a total of 2,153,010. India also recorded 861 fatalities, driving the death toll to 43,379. India has been posting an average of around 50,000 new cases a day since mid-June and has the third-highest caseload in the world after the United States and Brazil. It has the fifth-most deaths but its fatality rate of about 2% is far lower than the top two hardest-hit countries.