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Experts see 'light at end of tunnel' as infections hit three-month low

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Health experts say there is light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel as Australia recorded its lowest daily rise in new infections in over three months.

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There were 16 new infections reported on Monday – 11 in Victoria, four in NSW and one in Queensland.

“This light at the end of the tunnel is getting closer every day,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth told reporters in Canberra.

Coatsworth said Victorian officials would take the numbers into account as they considered further lifting of restrictions.

“But patience, as always, is required,” he said.

Victoria reported two deaths, taking the national toll to 851.

Coatsworth said he was concerned with a drop-off in testing rates.

“We can only ask Australians with even the most minimal of symptoms – even if you think you have hayfever – if you haven’t had a COVID-19 check you need to go and get tested,” Coatsworth said.

The NSW cases included three returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine and one person linked to a known cluster.

The infection of a Sydney taxi driver is shaping up as a potential stumbling block to a move by South Australia to lift border restrictions with NSW.

South Australia’s transition committee will meet on Tuesday to once again consider lifting the 14-day quarantine requirement for people coming to SA.

SA has not reported a new coronavirus case for 10 days, with no new infections on Monday.

The Queensland case was a teenage girl in hotel quarantine after returning from overseas.

-AAP

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