The global death toll from coronavirus has eclipsed one million people nine months into the pandemic, but Australia’s new case numbers remain low.
The number of worldwide cases has topped 33.2 million.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the death toll milestone was a number nobody wanted to see.
“It is a reminder that we are living in the midst of a global pandemic,” he told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
“This is a pandemic that has been visited upon Australia from outside our shores and is one that has impacted on us greatly.”
Australia’s death toll has reached 882 after another seven deaths in Victoria.
The state also recorded 10 new cases of the virus, bringing Melbourne’s 14-day rolling average down to 18.2.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt seized on the low numbers to again urge the Victorian state government to ease coronavirus restrictions.
“They can, we believe, take safe steps forward which will help improve mental health,” Mr Hunt told Sky News.
He fears Victoria’s markers for reopening small businesses could trap owners in a permanent cycle of reopening and closing again.
“The prime minister, the treasurer and myself respectfully asked Victoria to review those thresholds,” Mr Hunt said.
Community transmissions have slowed to a trickle in Victoria and ground to a halt elsewhere.
Mr Hunt said the time was right to do away with state border restrictions.
NSW has recorded two new cases from people in hotel quarantine on Tuesday, but it’s the state’s fourth day in a row of no locally acquired cases.
Another eight crew members from a ship anchored off Western Australia’s north coast have tested positive for coronavirus, taking the total number of cases to 17.
WA authorities are yet to decide what to do with the bulk carrier.
Meanwhile, Australia’s top health and aged care officials are set to face another grilling about deadly coronavirus outbreaks in nursing homes.
Health secretary Brendan Murphy and aged care regulator Janet Anderson will front a Senate inquiry on Tuesday.
The federal government has been under intense scrutiny for its handling of the aged care sector.
More than 650 aged care residents across 220 facilities have died from coronavirus and thousands more have been infected.
And yet, the aged care regulator has visited just 13 per cent of nursing homes with outbreaks.
Fewer than 10 per cent have been sanctioned since the start of the pandemic.
“More evidence of the Morrison government’s regulator failing older Australians in the middle of a deadly pandemic,” Labor frontbencher Julie Collins said.