CANBERRA, July 30 -- Australia recorded its single largest daily increase of coronavirus cases on Thursday when the minister for health said the hardest-hit state in the country has "a massive task", reported Xinhua news agency.
As of Thursday afternoon, there have been 16,303 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the number of new cases in the last 24 hours is 747, which is a new "unfortunate" record, according to the update from Paul Kelly, the Australian government's acting chief medical officer.
There were 13 new deaths - also a record - taking the national toll to 189.
Of the new cases, Victoria has confirmed 723, a record for any Australian state or territory in a single day.
It has crushed hopes that Victoria was starting to flatten the curve of the second wave of infections after consecutive days of declining numbers.
All 13 deaths were in Victoria and 10 of them are linked to known outbreaks in aged care facilities.
Greg Hunt, the minister for health, said on Thursday that Victorian authorities were facing a "massive task" to reduce the spread of the virus.
"Victoria has a massive task and we've stepped in, we're helping them," he told Nine Entertainment radio.
"But we know that it comes with an immense human cost once this disease is out in the community in a significant way."
Australian Medical Assistance Teams (AUSMAT), which Hunt has previously described as "the SAS of the medical world," arrived in Victoria recently to assist the state's response to the outbreaks.
"And we're working to make sure that we have other states provide resources. So, we're stepping in as a country to help one state which is facing a profound challenge."
Malaysia National News Agency
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