The recurring nature of the COVID-19 makes it ideal for selective quarantine measures. The very nature of the outbreak is unclear and consequences far from obvious. Australia introduces new set of regional restrictive measures cutting Melbourne area from the outside world.
Approximately five million inhabitants of Melbourne should stay at home for six weeks as much as possible from Wednesday, the prime minister of the Australian state of Victoria said Tuesday. He calls the increase in the number of contamination cases “unsustainable”.
Last night, the state reported 191 new infections, the largest increase since March. With the measures, local authorities want to prevent the outbreak from accelerating. The damage from the virus has been fairly limited in Australia, with 106 deaths reported to date.
Residents of Melbourne and the neighbouring Mitchell Shire region will only be allowed to go outside for groceries, care and work or study during the next month and a half if this is not at home. You can only pick up at restaurants and cafes. The new rules applied in 36 Melbourne suburbs since late June.
The border with the state of New South Wales, where the largest city of Sydney is located, closes on the night from Tuesday to Wednesday (local time) and will be monitored by the police and military. People who cross the border without a valid reason can face a fine of 7,700 Australian dollars (4,700 euros) and six months in prison.
Daniel Andrews, Victoria’s prime minister, compared the outbreak Tuesday with a wildfire that must be surrounded and extinguished, a common problem in Melbourne.
“A lot of people aren’t afraid, thinking they only happen on the other side of the world, but they should be,” Andrews said in a statement.
In total, more than 8,700 infections have been identified in Australia, the lion’s share in the two most populous states of Victoria (over 2,800) and New South Wales (over 3,400). In New South Wales, the outbreak is currently leveling off; authorities relaxed the corona measures in early July.