Science

Aus state Victoria to go into week-long lockdown MELBOURNE

Aus state Victoria to go into week-long lockdown MELBOURNE”

Public gatherings are banned under the lockdown and restaurants, pubs and cafes can provide takeaway only. "We've seen overseas how hard that movement can be to control", Merlino said.

For the next seven days Victorians will only be able to leave home for five reasons - shopping for necessary goods and services, authorised work or permitted education, exercise for a maximum of two hours per day, care-giving and medical reasons, and to get a COVID-19 vaccination. "When we see a member become infected, nearly all the household is infected", he said.

Genomic testing has connected the cluster to a case of the Indian strain of the virus earlier this month at a quarantine hotel from the neighbouring state of South Australia (SA). More than 40,000 test results were received overnight.

Merlino said contact tracers have identified more than 10,000 primary and secondary contacts who would need to quarantine, test and self isolate, adding "that number will continue to grow and change".

Amid fears the virus could quickly spread out of control, Victoria declared a snap seven-day lockdown to break the chain of transmission. It is unclear how exactly the virus got from Case A to this man, but he went on to infect at least 14 others.

Infections peaked at 725 new cases in a single day in August at a time when community spread had been virtually eliminated elsewhere in the country.

The "circuit-breaker" lockdown is created to allow contact tracers to get on top of cases, with residents permitted to leave home only for essential reasons including getting vaccinated.

Schools will move to remote learning, except for vulnerable children and children of authorised workers.

Читайте также: China says USA peddling conspiracies as lab-leak theory returns

"In the last day, we have seen 12 linked new cases, bringing the total number of cases linked to the hotel quarantine breach in South Australia to 26". Masks must be worn outside the home.

One of those cases is now in intensive care in hospital and on a ventilator.

A spokesperson from the New Zealand Ministry of Health said this afternoon it was "crucial" everyone who has been in Victoria since May 11 was checking Victoria Health's website for locations of interest.

Health Minister Martin Foley said that the patient in ICU was one of the first cases from the outbreak and an "elderly person".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison batted away the criticisms, saying "no system is foolproof" and pointing to Australia's now low infection and death numbers when compared to other countries around the world.

Morrison urged eligible Australians to get vaccinated, saying the "wonderful and enviable" way of life Down Under during much of the pandemic had led to some vaccine hesitancy.

From Friday morning, Victoria will expand the eligibility for vaccinations, with people in the 40 to 49-year-old age group able to receive the Pfizer jab at state-run vaccination sites.

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