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  • Australia's army is assisting with ramped-up testing efforts in Victoria after the state recorded several new coronavirus clusters.
  • Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement on Thursday that the state would begin conducting a "Suburban Testing Blitz" by going to door-to-door in neighbourhoods that have seen a recent uptick in the number of coronavirus cases.
  • As of June 25, Victoria recorded 1,917 coronavirus cases, an increase of 33 new cases from the day prior. A state of emergency has been extended until July 20.
  • On Wednesday, Victoria also announced that a man in his 80s had died from the virus - Australia's first coronavirus fatality in over a month.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Australia announced a new testing strategy on Thursday in the wake of a new coronavirus outbreak in the state of Victoria.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said in a statement on Thursday that the state would begin conducting a "Suburban Testing Blitz" by going to door-to-door in neighbourhoods that have seen a recent uptick in the number of coronavirus cases.

"This targeted blitz across ten priority suburbs represents one of the biggest testing efforts ever," Andrews said.

Members of the Australian Defense Force will assist a "squad of more than 1,000 doorknockers," as well as aid in the efforts of 800 testers working out of mobile testing vans.

This method allows people "to not only get tested in their own community, but in their own street," Andrews said.

The priority suburbs include Keilor Downs, Broadmeadows, Maidstone, Albanvale, Sunshine West, Hallam, Brunswick West, Fawkner, Reservoir, and Pakenham.

"Over the next 10 days, residents of these suburbs will receive free testing - with or without symptoms," Andrews said. "Our aim is to do 10,000 tests a day across these areas and in the top two priority suburbs - Keilor Downs and Broadmeadows - we want to reach half the population in the next three days."

Labs in other states are also providing support with the goal of processing at least 25,000 tests a day. Andrews said that the new testing blitz would likely result in an increased number of cases over the coming weeks.

"Some may see this as a mark of failure," he said. "Instead, if those cases can be traced back to other known positives, it'll be a mark of our success. Every Victorian who gets tested - every case that is identified - brings us one step closer to containing and slowing the spread of this virus."

As of June 25, Victoria recorded 1,917 coronavirus cases, an increase of 33 new cases from the day prior. A state of emergency has been extended until July 20. In total, Australia has recorded 7,595 cases and 104 deaths.

Experts have praised Australia for its swift and strict lockdown efforts that allowed it to keep its coronavirus outbreak under control. The country began to implement lockdown measures in March, and has since seen a steady decline in its number of coronavirus cases.

But a number of new cases have been linked to new outbreaks in Victoria in recent days. On Wednesday, Victoria announced that a man in his 80s had died from the virus - Australia's first coronavirus fatality in over a month.

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