Australia's Victoria state imposes curfew in Melbourne; reports 429 cases

Topics Australia | Melbourne | Coronavirus

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Australia's Victoria state on Monday reported 429 COVID-19 cases, a day after it declared "a state of disaster" following a surge in the number of coronavirus infections.

On Sunday, the southeast Australian state, the country's second largest, placed its capital Melbourne under strict stage-4 restrictions for six weeks, including a night-time curfew.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the "state of disaster" for Victoria on Sunday after 671 new cases were recorded in a single day.

On Monday, 429 new cases were recorded in the state. Thirteen cases were recorded in New South Wales and two in South Australia.

Australia's death toll from COVID-19 stands at 221, including 136 fatalities in Victoria.

The state currently has over 7,100 active cases of coronavirus and more than 38 of those are in the intensive care unit.

Andrews also confirmed that mystery cases were on the rise and there were 760 infections now for which the health authorities are unable to trace the source.

The "state of disaster" declaration would mean that the Victoria police have been granted broader powers to implement coronavirus restrictions and the authorities can suspend Acts of Parliament and take possession of properties.

Melbourne will remain under stage-4 restrictions till September 13.

Under stage-4 restrictions, people are allowed to leave their house for four reasons- shopping for food and essential items, care and caregiving, daily exercise and work. Employers must allow you to work from home if you can work from home.

Andrews also announced a night time curfew in the city between 8 pm and 5 am.

"Only one person will be able to go shopping once per day and they will need to secure the goods and services that are what you need within a 5km radius," he said.

"In terms of exercise, recreation is now no longer allowed. You will be able to have one hour of exercise, no further than 5km from your home. That means it's fresh air. It's a jog. It's a walk. It's in your local neighbourhood," he said.

He said that police will be out in force and people will be stopped and asked and they will need to demonstrate that they are lawfully out and are not breaching that curfew.

"Going to a mate's place, visiting friends, being out and about for no good reason, all that will do is spread this virus," he said.

"I want to ensure all Victorians supermarkets, the butcher, the baker, food, beverage, groceries, those types of settings, there will be no impact there," he said.

"There will be some industries, some settings that can continue and it is business as usual,'' Andrews said.

From Wednesday, regional Victoria will move to stage three restrictions and Mitchell Shire will stay at stage three.

That's staying at home, except for the four reasons for leaving home, Andrews said.

"That will mean restaurants, cafes, bars, gyms, a whole range of other settings will need to close from midnight next Wednesday," Andrews said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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