SYDNEY (Aug 4): Australia’s second-most populous state Victoria will deploy military personnel to enforce Covid-19 isolation orders. Anyone caught in breach of those orders risk facing tough new fines, reported Reuters.
Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said 500 military personnel will be deployed to Victoria to bolster enforcement of self-isolation orders, with fines of nearly A$5,000 (about RM15,023) for breaching stay-at-home orders. The only exception will be for those seeking urgent medical care.
But nearly a third of those who had contracted Covid-19 were not self-isolating at home when checked on by officials, thus requiring tough new penalties, Andrews said today.
“There is literally no reason for you to leave your home and if you were to leave your home and not be found there, you will have a very difficult time convincing Victoria police that you have a lawful reason,” Andrews told reporters in Melbourne .
Victoria declared a “state of disaster” on Sunday (Aug 2) as the state imposed a night curfew, tightened restrictions on people’s daily movements and ordered large parts of the local economy to close in efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.
As of today, Victoria reported 439 new Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours. Andrews said 11 people had died from the virus since Monday.
Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, already under night curfew, announced fresh restrictions on industries, including retail and construction, on Monday in a bid to contain a resurgence of the coronavirus.
From tomorrow night, Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state, will close retail, some manufacturing and administrative businesses as part of a six-week lockdown.
Supermarkets will remain open, along with restaurant takeaway and delivery, but many other retail outlets will be shut.
Thus far, Australia has recorded 18,361 coronavirus cases and 221 deaths, but the surge in community transmissions in Victoria raised fears that the infection rate could blow out of control.
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