Australia

Coronavirus Australia: Two more suburbs and public housing towers locked down in Melbourne

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that two new postcodes in Victoria will be added to stay at home orders, as the state grapples with the continuing spike in cases.Mr Andrews said the growth in cases has remained “unacceptably high” in new postcodes and postcodes 3031 (Flemington, Kensington) and 3051 (North Melbourne) would be added to…

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that two new postcodes in Victoria will be added to stay at home orders, as the state grapples with the continuing spike in cases.

Mr Andrews said the growth in cases has remained “unacceptably high” in new postcodes and postcodes 3031 (Flemington, Kensington) and 3051 (North Melbourne) would be added to other areas already under stay at home restrictions from 11.59pm tonight.

“For residents in these postcodes, the message is clear: stay at home,” the Victorian Premier said in a statement.

“These postcodes are experiencing elevated community transmission – and the only way to combat that is with stronger restrictions.”

Mr Andrews also announced nine of the state’s biggest public housing towers in those postcodes would be closed for at least five days.

“As these figures show, we are still on a knife’s edge. Rather than spread across the state, we know many of these cases are located in specific communities,” he said.

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“The nine towers that are being locked down will be locked down for at least five days because that is deemed the appropriate period to test everybody — every single resident other than those who‘ve already tested positive — across those towers and to have those tests processed by the labs,” Mr Andrews said.

“That data will then guide us as to what the next steps should be but at this stage it is at least that five-day hard lockdown, effective from right now.”

“As to the postcodes that have been added in, that will be consistent with the other 10 postcodes until the end of this month and we will reassess at that point or indeed some time before then.”

Mr Andrews said the towers’ 3,000 residents would not be allowed to leave their unit for any reason, promising a police presence to ensure everyone abides by the rules.

Mr Andrews said large apartment blocks presented a similar problem to other places with close confines, like aged care facilities.

“This is not like an outbreak spread across multiple homes or multiple suburbs. The close confines and the shared community spaces within these large apartment blocks means this virus can spread like wildfire.

“And just like fire, we need to put a perimeter around it to stop it from spreading. It’s why, effective immediately, these estates – encompassing nine sites – will be closed and contained. Residents will be required to stay inside their homes.”

The drastic measures come after Victoria reported a dramatic triple digit spike in coronavirus cases. 108 cases of the virus were identified in the past 24 hours alone.

Australia’s total tally of virus cases has reached 8255 so far, with 104 deaths.

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