Victoria's COVID-19 cases lowest in a month
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Victoria has recorded 222 new coronavirus cases - its lowest total in a month - and 17 deaths in the past 24 hours.
It marks another decrease in cases, from yesterday's total of 282 new infections. Thankfully the daily death toll has dropped from yesterday's record total of 25.
It comes as a new peer-reviewed study claims that dry weather increases the coronavirus' ability to spread.
Looking at Sydney's COVID-19 surge in March and April, its authors said that, when there was a 1 per cent decrease in the amount of water in the air, there was a 7.7 per cent increase in infections.
#Covid19VicData for 18 August 2020.— VicGovDHHS (@VicGovDHHS) August 17, 2020
There are 222 new cases of #coronavirus (#COVID19) detected in Victoria in the last 24 hours. We are sad to report that there were 17 deaths. More information will be available later today. pic.twitter.com/xeQx3hnVJX
"We found that throughout the epidemic of COVID-19 in NSW, Australia − both during the exponential and descending phases of the epidemic − there was a consistent negative relationship between relative humidity and case occurrence," the authors wrote.
They say the state's lockdown in February and March was a much more substantial contributor to stopping the outbreak, but the same link between dry air and cases was there regardless.
"So we don't think it had anything to do with the lockdown," report co-author Professor Michael Ward told The Age. "Every time we look at it, we find humidity is linked with cases. And we cannot really explain that any other way. I cannot come up with any other explanations."
Victoria recorded 282 new virus cases today and 25 new deaths yesterday - its worst daily death toll since the pandemic hit Australia in January.