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State health minister quits over Australia’s worst COVID-19 outbreak

DPA
Sydney
The state health minister in Victoria resigned from her post on Saturday, as her handling of the state’s COVID-19 outbreak, by far Australia’s worst, has come under criticism and been the subject of an inquiry.
Jenny Mikakos issued a statement confirming her resignation, a day after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews gave evidence to an inquiry and pointed partial blame at the minister for her role in lapsed quarantining of overseas arrivals.
“In light of the Premier’s statement... I believe I cannot continue to serve in his Cabinet,” Mikakos said.
“I am disappointed that my integrity has sought to be undermined.” Mikakos also intends to resign from parliament.
Victoria’s death toll from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus rose to 782 on Saturday, comprising a large majority of the 870 deaths recorded nationally.
An inquiry has been running for several weeks into the state’s virus outbreak. It seeks to determine who authorized underpaid security guards, rather than the defence force, to run the state’s overseas hotel quarantine programme, which was partially blamed for a sharp increase in cases.
New infections have been consistently declining across the state, bringing hope to the 4.9 million residents in metropolitan Melbourne who have been under a strict lockdown since August 2 when daily cases were topping 700.

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