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Asia Today: Victoria Premier Concerned Over Mall Outbreak

Visitors dressed in South Korean traditional

Visitors dressed in South Korean traditional "Hanbok" attire, wearing face masks as a precaution against the coronavirus, walk at the Gyeongbok Palace, one of South Korea's well-known landmarks, in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

The COVID19 figures in Australias Victoria state continued to show improvement on Saturday but officials are concerned about an outbreak at the countrys largest shopping center.

MELBOURNE, Australia: The COVID-19 figures in Australias Victoria state continued to show improvement on Saturday but officials are concerned about an outbreak at the countrys largest shopping center.

Victoria reported three more COVID-19 deaths and eight more cases. The figures take the state toll to 805 and the national death count to 893.

Melbournes latest 14-day average stood at 12 cases, and there have been 11 cases with an unknown source in the past two weeks up to Wednesday.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said a recent outbreak linked to southeast Melbournes Chadstone Shopping Centre showed why it was unsafe to ease restrictions.

A cluster of cases at the 550-store shopping center grew to 11 and includes a family.

If we were to open up now, just as our modeling tells us … it will be many hundreds of cases, Andrews said.

Melbournes strict lockdown rules continue to be eased, and an overnight curfew ended last week.

In other developments from the Asia-Pacific region:

South Koreas daily coronavirus tally has remained in double digits for a third straight day, as authorities called for vigilance during one of the countrys biggest holidays. The 75 cases added in the past 24 hours took the countrys total to 24,027 with 420 deaths. South Koreas caseload has been waning following a spike in new infections between early August and mid-September. Stringent social distancing was credited with slowing the outbreak. But worries about a rebound in cases have grown again as South Korea starts the traditional autumn Chuseok holidays next week that would certainly increase public mobility.

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Follow APs pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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