Victoria has reached 21 consecutive days without a new locally acquired COVID-19 case, but two new cases have emerged in hotel quarantine.

There were 13,612 tests carried out in Victoria on Tuesday, despite the public holiday.

Victoria has 31 active cases across the state. It is not yet known if the two new cases are linked to the Australian Open.

In New South Wales, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has flagged easing restrictions, telling Sunrise she will be seeking health advice this week.

The local case numbers come amid grim news from around the world, with the number of cases recorded globally surpassing 100 million, according to Johns Hopkins data. More than 25 million are in the United States alone.

More than 2.1 million people have died since the pandemic began little over a year ago.

Overnight Britain recorded 100,000 deaths. “It’s hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic; the years of life lost,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said of the toll.

While the number of infections and the death toll continue to rise overseas, an “unseemly” dispute between Europe and the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing two key coronavirus vaccines threatens to slow shipments of the lifesaving jab to Australia should the row worsen.

In the first major example of long-feared “vaccine nationalism”, the European Union has slapped export controls on vaccines produced within its territory because Pfizer and AstraZeneca can no longer meet their pre-agreed supply volumes and timelines with the bloc.



While Australia plans to produce the AstraZeneca jab at a Melbourne factory owned by biopharmaceutical firm CSL, the 10 million doses it has agreed to buy from Pfizer will be manufactured in Belgium.

On Tuesday AstraZeneca denied reports its vaccine isn’t effective in people aged over 65 after reports in German media suggested it may not receive European approval for use on the elderly.

In Victoria, as thousands gathered for Invasion Day marches on Tuesday, coronavirus marshals separated the crowd into groups of 100 people to comply with restrictions on public gatherings and handed out masks.

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