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Australian coronavirus: Victoria declares ‘state of disaster’, blocking millions in Melbourne

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Daniel Andrews told Victorians at a news conference that “we need to do more, and we need to do more now,” as state battles contain a devastating coronavirus outbreak that had already stripped residents of liberties, lifestyles and social interactions. and made it one farther away from the rest of the country.

“Where you slept last night is where you will have to stay for the next six weeks,” Andrews said, announcing a curfew between 8 and 5 a.m. starting Sunday evening and moving the Melbourne Metropolitan to the stage. of four blocking measures.

In that part of the state, only one family member will be allowed to leave their homes once a day – outside curfew – to pick up essential goods, and they must stay within a 5-kilometer radius of their home. them. Melburnians had already been under strict measures for most of July as the area was identified as the epicenter of Australia’s second wave.

The new draconian rules were prompted by the darker Covid-19 figure. Seven new deaths were reported Saturday, bringing the state total to 123, and there were 11,557 confirmed infections.

Victoria Prime Minister Victoria Daniel Andrews announces the new measures on Sunday.

In addition, Andrews said the state has 760 “mystery cases”, “where” we can not trace the source of that person’s infection “.

“These mysteries and that community transmission is in many respects our biggest challenge and why we need to move to another set of rules,” Andrews said. “Throughout all this, I promised that I would be in the foreword. So I will say this now. This will be imperfect. And for a while, there will be more questions than answers,” he added from a series new measures.

The announcement captures an extremely difficult year for the state; Victoria last used her catastrophic difference state when wildfires were raging across much of the region at year’s end. Andrews acknowledged that residents “will feel scared and sad and worried,” but told them: “We are Victorians – and we will go through this as Victoria. With disappointment, with guts and together.”

“I have had the job of leading this state for almost six years – more than 2,000 days,” Andrews said. “And today is a much harder day – and the toughest decision.”

He noted that there would be “common sense exceptions” to blocking rules, such as whether a person’s nearest supermarket is more than five miles away or whether a parent should take young children with them. when he goes for a walk.

Exercise can be done for up to an hour a day, with another person, but still within five miles of one person’s home. All restrictions can be eased for “work, medical care or compassionate reasons”.

A resident of a care facility was taken to hospital on Tuesday as the coronavirus caught Victoria.

Patrol officers have been a frequent sight in Melbourne, a city of 5 million, in recent weeks – as authorities seek to enforce rules on leaving home and on the mandatory wearing of face masks.

Outside the Melbourne Metropolitan, the regional Victoria will be placed under the three-phase restriction that starts at midnight Wednesday which means cafes, bars and restaurants must be closed. All schools in Victoria will also go back to online learning. “

All new restrictions will be in effect for six weeks from the date of imposition.

The state has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic much more than the rest of Australia in recent weeks, but other officials are on alert as they hope to prevent a second wave in their states.

In New South Wales, Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday “strongly recommended” that people wear masks indoors, where there is no social distance, in places of worship and in areas with high community coverage. The state registered 12 new cases Sunday.

CNN’s Isaac Yee contributed to the report.

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