The upper house of the Australian state of Victoria has voted to extend the state of emergency, imposed to stem the spread of COVID-19, for another six months, the Age daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.
The vote took place early morning, with 20 lawmakers having cast their votes in favor of the extension and 19 against, according to the news outlet. The state government originally sought a permanent 12-month extension but had to settle for a one-off six-month one as a compromise deal between the Green and the Labour to push the initiative forward.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos thanked those who had voted in favor and criticized the opposition to the extension as reckless.
The bill in question will now move for a vote in the lower house, where the Labour commands a majority, later in the week.
In early August, Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews imposed the state of emergency over a spike in COVID-19, to allow the state's authorities to implement measures against the disease, as daily numbers of cases were exceeding 300 a day at one point.
Right now, Victoria, the country's second most populous state, has the most cases than any other state, numbering 19,224, with 90 new cases confirmed in the last 24 hours.
Australia has confirmed a total of 25,819 COVID-19 cases, with 657 fatalities.