On Wednesday, Australia’s second-most populous state Melbourne authorities said they will lock down more than 3,00,000 people in suburbs north Melbourne to contain the risk of infection after two weeks of double-digit in new coronavirus cases.
Australia’s condition is much better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 7,920 cases, 104 deaths which is much lower than many other countries. But, the newly registered infections have raised the fear of the second wave of COVID-19. On Sunday, the global coronavirus cases exceeded 10 million which is a major milestone in the disease and taking fatalities to half a million.
Lockdowns will be imposed again on more than 30 suburbs in Australia’s second-biggest city. Except for grocery shopping, health appointments, work or caregiving, and exercise, other activities will be restricted.
Victoria recorded 73 fresh cases on Tuesday from 20,682 tests, which has increased the authority’s concern. State premier Daniel Andrews warned on Wednesday that “If we all stick together these next four weeks, we can regain control of that community transmission … across metropolitan Melbourne,” Andrews further said at a briefing, “Ultimately if I didn’t shut down those postcodes I’d be shutting down all postcodes. We want to avoid that.”
The increased number of infections in Victoria was due to the lack of proper quarantine protocols for staff members at hotels, returning from various places. “We’ve had an increase in cases but they’re almost all in a very defined geographic area,” said acting chief medical officer Paul Kelly.
“Most of the cases are continuing to be based on family clusters … (which) have this single link back to quarantine failure in a couple of hotels in central Melbourne. So that leads me to think this is not a widespread issue at the moment,” he added.