Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described the deaths of 19 Australians on the nation's deadliest day of the COVID-19 pandemic as "devastating."
Authorities in Victoria on Monday announced that 19 people in the state had died from COVID-19 since Sunday, making it Australia's deadliest day since the pandemic began. Fourteen of the 19 new deaths were linked to aged care facilities.
It takes the national death toll to 313 and Victoria's to 228.
"More than 300 Australians now have fallen victim to the coronavirus," Morrison told reporters in a press conference on Monday.
"This news is devastating no matter what age, COVID affects people and we just want to reaffirm our support through every channel we can provide it. "
It has taken only nine days for the death toll to grow from 200 to 300 compared to about 74 days for it to grow from 100 to 200.
However, as the death toll continues to grow Victoria has confirmed its fewest number of new cases of COVID-19 in 12 days.
Michael Kidd, Australia's deputy chief medical officer, said in the update on Monday afternoon that there had been 21,397 confirmed cases of the virus in Australia, and the number of new cases in last 24 hours is 337.
He said the number of new cases "is a significant reduction since 10 days ago when we reported 747 new cases."
Of the 337 new cases, 322 were in Victoria.
"Within Victoria, 32 of the new cases are linked to outbreaks or complex cases and 290 are under investigation," said a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria on Monday.
The department also said that to date there are 1,065 active COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers in the state.
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