The opening of parliament in Australia has been delayed by several weeks due to the spread of the virus in the country’s two most populous states.

Victoria and New South Wales are currently experiencing a surge in cases.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked the speaker of the parliament to cancel a two-week session which was due to begin on 4 August 2020 now rescheduled till 24 August.

In a written statement, Morrison said: “The government cannot ignore the risk to parliamentarians, their staff, the staff within the parliament and the broader community.”

On Saturday New South Wales recorded 15 more cases while Victoria saw 217 new infections.

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