Australia’s Victoria state announced on Tuesday a lockdown of metropolitan Melbourne as it recorded its largest daily increase in coronavirus cases since the start of the outbreak.
The state recorded 191 new infections overnight, a day after authorities shut the New South Wales-Victoria border.
State premier Daniel Andrews announced the restrictions for six weeks in a press conference.
“Yesterday, we reached a grim new milestone, the most cases in a single day. Today, we surpassed it. It’s clear we are on the cusp of our second wave – and we cannot let this virus cut through our communities,” he said.
“It’s why based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer, Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions will be reinstated across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from 11:59pm on Wednesday 8 July.”
He said that people in these areas will only leave their homes to shop for food and essential items, care and caregiving, daily exercise, and work and study.
“Stay home. Stay home. Stay home. In case it needs repeating, stay home. We are fighting a global and deadly pandemic,” the premier asserted.
Restaurants and cafes will return to takeaway and delivery services only. Beauty and personal services, entertainment and cultural venues will close, and community sports will also stop.
Meanwhile, Andrews requested Prime Minister Scott Morrison for the deployment of 260 Australian Defense Force troops along the borders with other states, according to daily Sydney Morning Herald.
The troops will help with on-the-ground support in putting road closures across Melbourne.
Australia has recorded 8,755 virus cases to date. Only 839 cases are active, and the rest have recovered. Some 106 people have died due to the infection.
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