Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Australia on Monday reported its deadliest day of the coronavirus, with more than two dozen deaths, while neighboring New Zealand postponed its general election for a month.
The 25 deaths were all reported in Victoria state. Premier Daniel Andrews announced the increase during a press conference Monday, stating all victims were at least 60 years old, and 22 were linked to outbreaks at aged care facilities.
Australia's previous single-day record was 21 deaths.
Victoria's figure pushed the country's death toll to 421, though the Ministry of Health had yet to release its official updated figures.
Victoria also reported 282 new cases of COVID-19, its second consecutive day of fewer than 300.
"There's good cause for people to be hopeful for the future but we just can't allow any sense of complacency to creep in," Andrews told reporters.
The new infections inched Australia's cases toward the 25,000 mark, which placed it well ahead of New Zealand for first in Oceania in both cases and deaths.
An outbreak was reported in Auckland after more than 100 days without a local transmission.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the general election, scheduled for Sept. 19, has been postponed to Oct. 17. She said the electoral commission told her the date in October should be safe and accessible, and added that she won't move the date again.
"Moving the date by four weeks also gives all parties a fair shot to campaign and delivers New Zealanders certainty without unnecessarily long delays," she said.
Ardern said while the decision to move the date was hers, she spoke to other parties.
"This decision gives all parties time over the next nine weeks to campaign and the Electoral Commission enough time to ensure an election can go ahead," she said.
Judith Collins, leader of the opposition National Party, said it was Ardern's decision.
"Right now, the focus must be on finding out exactly what failed so catastrophically at the border so we can be sure it won't happen again," Collins tweeted.
The archipelago nation was one of the few to have seemingly sidestepped the worst of the pandemic and was looking to reopen borders for tourism with nearby countries earlier this month when Ardern returned New Zealand to lockdown after a surge of cases in Auckland.
The country had gone 102 days without a locally transmitted infection until last week when health officials on Tuesday reported four cases. On Monday, the Ministry of Health announced nine new cases, most from the Auckland cluster.
In Asia, India said its death toll passed 50,000 after nearly 1,000 patients died.