Covid-19: Australia’s Victoria state declares state of disaster

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 2): The Australian state of Victoria has declared a state of disaster following a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases, the BBC reported today.

Reports said Victoria recorded 671 new Covid-19 cases and seven deaths today, making a total of 11,557 infections and 123 deaths.

The state of disaster will see the implementation of night-time curfew (8pm to 5am) on Melbourne (the state capital) of starting from today.

The only “reasons for leaving home during these hours will be for work, medical care or care-giving”, the broadcaster reported.

Further restrictions in the city include being only allowed to shop and exercise (limited to one hour at a time) within 5km of a person’s home.

Regional Victoria will see restaurants, cafes, bars and gyms closing from Wednesday.

"We must do more. We must go harder. It's the only way we'll get to the other side of this," state premier Daniel Andrews said during a media conference.

"These are big steps but they are necessary. We have got to limit the amount of movement, therefore limiting the amount of transmission of this virus. We have to clamp down on this," he added.

And to make sure everyone plays their part, Andrews warned that the “police will be given additional powers”.

He also revealed that the “changes to lockdown rules announced on Sunday will remain in place until at least Sept 13”.

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