CANBERRA, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Australia recorded its worst day of the coronavirus pandemic as the nation's death toll climbed to 247 after Victorian authorities announced 15 deaths on Wednesday.
The deaths included a man in his 30s, and 10 of the 15 new deaths are linked to known outbreaks in aged care facilities.
Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Michael Kidd said in the update on Wednesday that this is the country's highest number of COVID-19 deaths in a single day.
As of Wednesday afternoon, there had been 19,444 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the number of new cases in the last 24 hours is 739.
Of the new cases, 725 were in Victoria with a record-high daily increase, and reclassified 25 that were previously diagnosed.
It came as non-essential businesses across Melbourne prepare to close for six weeks from midnight on Wednesday night under stage four lockdown measures.
As COVID-19 numbers in Victoria continue to rise rapidly, Kidd said that it was "absolutely inexcusable" that individuals with COVID-19 are leaving their homes.
Victorian authorities revealed on Tuesday that Australian Defence Force personnel and health officials conducted 3,000 doorknocks of people who should be isolating at home, and found more than 800 people were not at home.
"People must stay at home for the duration of their isolation period, this obviously is to protect the health and well-being of everybody in the community," Kidd said. Enditem