FILE PHOTO: Fire Services Victoria members walk toward a public housing tower, locked down in response to an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Melbourne, Australia, July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders/File Photo

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s second most populous state of Victoria on Tuesday said eight people died from the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours and reported 55 new cases.

Victoria, which has become the COVID-19 hotspot of the country, a day earlier reported nine deaths from the virus and 41 cases, its lowest one-day rise in more than 10 weeks.

The southeastern state, which extended a hard lockdown in its capital Melbourne until Sept. 28, now accounts for about 75% of the country’s 26,377 cases and 90% of its 770 deaths.

Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Sandra Maler

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