Left Menu
Development News Edition

Australia steps up police patrols in Melbourne's locked down virus hotspots

More than 1,000 police set up posts around 36 suburbs, which returned to lockdown after a spike in new infections. While the rest of Australia opened state borders and loosened social distancing restrictions, Melbourne's state of Victoria promised to fine those in the affected zones that breached curbs on non-essential movement.

Reuters | Canberra | Updated: 02-07-2020 11:34 IST | Created: 02-07-2020 11:01 IST
Australia steps up police patrols in Melbourne's locked down virus hotspots
Representative Image Image Credit: Wikimedia

Australian police set up suburban checkpoints in coronavirus hotspots in Melbourne on Thursday and were considering using drones to enforce stay-at-home orders as authorities struggled to contain new outbreaks in the country's second-largest city. More than 1,000 police set up posts around 36 suburbs, which returned to lockdown after a spike in new infections.

While the rest of Australia opened state borders and loosened social distancing restrictions, Melbourne's state of Victoria promised to fine those in the affected zones that breached curbs on non-essential movement. Victoria reported 77 new cases, up slightly from the previous day and in line with weeks of double-digit daily increases.

The state government has also commenced an inquiry into the enforcement of hotel quarantine for people returning from overseas amid worries some new infections came from people who had dodged the mandatory two-week isolation. "I'm obviously concerned about the outbreak, and I'm pleased that the premier has taken the action he's taken by putting in place the lockdown for the outbreak in those suburbs," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a televised news conference, referring to the Victorian state government.

"We have seen some leveling (in new cases) although they remain at elevated levels and that is of concern and that means as the lockdown now is in place, we would hope to see those numbers fall again." Victoria police commissioner Shane Patton promised a heavy presence in "high-volume public places" and said police may even use drones to track down people traveling for reasons other than work, school, healthcare, and grocery shopping.

"People will not know where we will be, they will not know how long we'll be there for, but they'll be intercepted," he said. Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 8,000 cases and 104 deaths. However, the recent jump in Victoria has stoked fears of a second wave of COVID-19, echoing concerns expressed in other countries.

Most states have said they will reopen their internal borders except to Victoria. Neighbouring New South Wales (NSW), the most populous state, has kept its border open except to people arriving from the targeted Victorian suburbs. A director at Phat Milk cafe in Melbourne's Travancore, one of the affected suburbs, said the sudden return to lockdown had left him with a kitchen full of food.

"What do you do with that stock? You have to close the kitchen because it's takeaway," said the director, who gave only his first name, Hach. "From four to six staff, you only have one staff on. It is hard, but you just got to find the passion, the drive, and be a bit creative and hang in there."

WEAK LINK The Victorian outbreak has raised concerns about the efficacy of the state's quarantine procedures.

In neighboring New South Wales, supermarket chain Woolworths Group put 50 staff at a Sydney store into isolation after a worker tested positive to the virus despite clearing a mandatory two-week quarantine in Victoria, authorities said. Meanwhile, remote Northern Territory reported its first infection in two months after a traveler who had entered the country via Melbourne and completed quarantine showed symptoms after returning to his home territory.

"People will be anxious about hearing this news ... but we have measures in place to protect our community (and) these measures have been followed," Northern Territory Health Minister Natasha Fyles told reporters. The infected person, aged in their 30s, has been isolated in hospital, she added.

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.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

How UK’s 'best prepared' healthcare system failed to gauge COVID-19

The UK is proud of their public health system and its unlike any other country as around 90 percent of British public supports the founding principles of National Health Service. But without accurate data being available to stakeholders in ...

Poor on IHR capacity progress in 2019, WHO says Cambodia tops COVID-19 response

Despite being in proximity to Hubei, the original epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, Cambodia has reported just 226 confirmed cases and zero deaths. After seeing the data, WHO appreciated Cambodias healthcare information system but experts dou...

Loopholes in Healthcare Information System may have failed Singapore COVID-19 model

In the initial days of the COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore was in the limelight for its effective healthcare system and pandemic response plan. However, Singapore has now joined the list of the worst-hit nations and the situation is even worse...

Australia's COVID-19 response: Digital infrastructure of help but implementation remains a challenge

Australias ongoing plans to upgrade its health information system helped by the Digital Health Strategy seem even more practical due to the pandemic. But as evident during the pandemic, administrative lapses and the complex matrix of power ...

Videos

Latest News

Macrogen Obtains Europe's CE-IVD Certificate for its COVID-19 Test Kit

- Export of test kit to entire Europe and numerous countries that recognize CE-IVD gains impetus SEOUL, South Korea, Aug. 4, 2020 PRNewswire -- The Korean biotech company Macrogen CEO Sukang Lee, announced on the 3rd that it had obtained t...

Wild lean on playoff experience vs. Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks didnt get quite the result they wanted out of their first playoff game in five years. The Canucks last saw postseason action in 2015 when the Calgary Flames eliminated them from the Western Conference quarterfinals in ...

Trump nursing home plan limits supply of free COVID-19 tests

The Trump administrations plan to provide every nursing home with a fast COVID-19 testing machine comes with an asterisk The government wont supply enough test kits to check staff and residents beyond an initial couple of rounds. A program ...

Karnataka: Crime Branch undertakes special drive against foreigners' illegal stay, seizes fake currency

A team of Central Crime Branch CCB-Bengaluru on Tuesday undertook a special drive against the illegal stay of foreigners in the city and found 20 Africans to be staying without a valid passport and visa, confirmed Karnataka Home Minister Ba...

Give Feedback