The number of coronavirus patients in Australia is nearing 300 as the southeastern state of New South Wales (NSW) reported its highest increase in cases on Monday.

The rising tally also led to staggering losses at the country’s stock exchange, which posted its largest daily percentage fall on record.

According to ABC News, a total of 37 coronavirus cases were reported in NSW on Monday, raising the state’s total to 171.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard also predicted an “exponential increase” in coronavirus cases over the coming days.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) data shows Australia has 279 cases and

Read more: COVID-19: Cases spike, stocks crash in Australia