News World Australia to lock down 300,000 in Melbourne suburbs after coronavirus spike

Australia to lock down 300,000 in Melbourne suburbs after coronavirus spike

 

 

Authorities will lock down around 300,000 people in suburbs north of Melbourne for a month from late on Wednesday to contain the risk of infection after two weeks of double-digit rises in new coronavirus cases in Australia’s second most populous state.

Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 7,830 cases and 104 deaths, but the recent surge has stoked fears of a second wave of COVID-19, echoing concerns expressed in other countries.

Globally, coronavirus cases exceeded 10 million on Sunday, a major milestone in the spread of a disease that has killed more than half a million people in seven months.

From midnight, more than 30 suburbs in Australia’s second-biggest city will return to stage three restrictions, the third-strictest level in curbs to control the pandemic. That means residents will be confined to home except for grocery shopping, health appointments, work or caregiving, and exercise.

The restrictions will be accompanied by a testing blitz that authorities hope will extend to half the population of the area affected, and for which borders will be patrolled, authorities said. The measures come as curbs ease across the rest of the state of Victoria, with restaurants, gyms and cinemas reopening in recent weeks.

Victoria recorded 73 fresh cases on Tuesday from 20,682 tests, following an increase of 75 cases on Monday. State premier Daniel Andrews warned on Wednesday that the return of broader restrictions across city remained a possibility.

“If we all stick together these next four weeks, we can regain control of that community transmission … across metropolitan Melbourne,” Andrews 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.”

Victoria’s spike in cases has been linked to staff members at hotels housing returned travellers for which quarantine protocols were not strictly followed. Victorian state authorities have announced an investigation into the matter.

Some other Australian states and territories are preparing to open borders, but applying limits and quarantine measures to citizens of Victoria as the school holiday season gets under way.

South Australia, the country’s fifth most populous state, has had just three new cases in the past month. But citing the spike in coronavirus infections, on Tuesday it cancelled its scheduled reopening to other parts of the nation.

New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state, has stopped short of closing its borders to all Victorians, but those holidaying from hotspot areas – not permitted under NSW rules – can be handed a fine of A$11,000 ($7,596) or jailed if they are detected, state authorities said.

The delays reopening internal borders cast doubts over a federal plan to set up “travel bubble” with neighbouring New Zealand that would allow movement between the two countries.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Tatar: 300 G/Cs apply to the “immobile property commission”

The opening of Varosha will continue until every square meter is open, new Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said during an interview with Turkiye...

Government to receive almost 2 million euros from COVID fines

The government received almost two million euros in recent months due to violations of the measures for COVID-19. Of course, this money has not...

Cyprus records 1,400 cases of violence against women this year, so far

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Wednesday, police said a total of 1,400 such cases were reported in...

Car crashes into gate of Merkel’s office

A car with slogans scrawled on its sides crashed into the gate of the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Wednesday,...

British royal Meghan speaks about miscarriage in New York Times article

Meghan, Britain's Duchess of Sussex, has revealed in an opinion article published in the New York Times on Wednesday that she had a miscarriage,...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...