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Australians fly back

While Victorians remain house-bound under COVID-19 restrictions, the first group of quarantined travellers from two weeks ago will be let out on .

At the same time, more than 1200 Australians trickling into Tullamarine airport this weekend from Peru, India and will be shuttled off to hotels to start quarantine.

Around 90 Australians were due to land on Sunday morning from the virus-plagued Greg Mortimer ship.

UK reports another 900 deaths

Italy reported the most new coronavirus cases in a week and the UK recorded more than 900 deaths for a second straight day, approaching 10,000.

Even as the US passed Italy as the country with the most virus-linked deaths, Saturday’s data offered little encouragement for Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte as he seeks a tentative restart of Italian commercial and public life.

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Deaths slowed in Spain, and , suggesting that restrictions are having an effect.

Italy, with the most deaths in Europe, has stepped up screening for the coronavirus in recent days. Confirmed cases increased by 4,694 in the latest 24-hour period, bringing the total to 152,271, Italian officials said Saturday. Deaths increased to 19,468 as the pace of fatalities accelerated from the previous day.

The number of new French deaths fell for a second day and new infections rose the least in three days, General for Health Jerome Salomon said in Paris. Cases rose by 4,785 to 129,654. Deaths reached 13,832, an increase of 635 reported Friday.

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US death toll tops 20,000

The US death toll topped 20,000 on Saturday, the most worldwide, as the government develops the tests needed to determine when normal activities can resume.

US cases increased 5.6 per cent in the past 24 hours to 514,415, according to data collected Saturday by Johns Hopkins University and Bloomberg News.

The increase was below the average daily pace of 8.8 per cent over the past week. Deaths nationwide rose by 10 per cent as of midday Saturday, according to the data.

had the most cases at 181,023, a 6 per cent increase from the previous day. The state also saw the largest number of deaths in the past 24 hours, with 783.

Cathedral of St. John

Volunteers place beds in a chapel while building a field hospital at the the Divine, in New York.  AP

Cases in rose 17 per cent, the most nationally, bringing the total to 626. The state had no increase in deaths. Alaska, Montana and also reported no new deaths.

Fatalities rose by more than 10 per cent in New York, and Michigan, and increased 20 per cent in Pennsylvania, the data showed.

Illinois reported 1,293 new cases, raising the total to 19,180, and 81 deaths in the past 24 hours, for a total of 677.

Florida reported 526 new cases on Saturday, raising the total to 18,494. An additional 19 people died, raising total fatalities to 438.

Louisiana reported 761 new cases, bringing the total to 20,014. The Department of Health reported 51 deaths, raising the total to 806.

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Read the full story here. 



Welcome to The Australian Financial Review’s live coronavirus blog, where we’ll be bringing you breaking news all day.

To catch up on what happened on Saturday, head over to our coverage here.

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We hope you all have a well deserved Easter break – while staying home, of course!

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