Around 5 million Australians are now back under a strict lockdown after a resurgence in coronavirus cases in the country's second-largest city. As of midnight Wednesday, Melbourne residents will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential business, reports Reuters. The restrictions will be in place for at least six weeks. Melbourne is the capital of Victoria state, and the military has helped close the border with New South Wales. Melbourne currently has around 860 active COVID-19 cases. Australia as a whole has reported around 9,000 coronavirus cases and 106 deaths, fewer than many US states, including Rhode Island and Delaware. In other developments:
- Pence says latest wave is flattening out. Vice President Mike Pence confirmed Wednesday that the US has now recorded more than 3 million cases, but he defended the administration's handling of the pandemic and said the recent surge in cases seems to be flattening out, the BBC reports. "While we mourn with those who mourn, because of what the American people have done, because of the extraordinary work of our healthcare workers around the country, we are encouraged that the average fatality rate continues to be low and steady," he said.