KUALA LUMPUR, August 3 — Victoria has announced a “state of disaster” and introduced a night-time curfew in Melbourne after Australia’s second biggest state reported 671 new Covid-19 cases in one day yesterday.
Seven new Covid-19 deaths were reported, with the state of Victoria recording a total of 123 fatalities from the coronavirus and 11,557 confirmed infections.
Authorities moved metropolitan Melbourne into stage four lockdown measures that only allow one person per household to leave their homes once a day — beyond the curfew hours of between 8pm and 5am — to get daily necessities, and must stay within a 5km radius of their residence.
SBS reported that in metropolitan Melbourne, exercise would be limited to one hour daily within 5km from home. Under the stage four movement restrictions, residents of metropolitan Melbourne can only leave home to buy food, work or study, exercise, or caregiving.
CNN reported Victoria premier Daniel Andrews as saying that the state has 760 “mystery cases”, where the source of infection in those cases is unknown.
“Those mysteries and that community transmission is in many respects our biggest challenge and the reason why we need to move to a different set of rules,” he was quoted saying.
He also reportedly cited “common-sense exceptions” to lockdown rules, like if one’s nearest supermarket is further than 5km away from their home, or if parents need to bring along young children when going for a walk. All of the movement restrictions can be relaxed for “work, medical care, or compassionate reasons”.
Outside metropolitan Melbourne, CNN reported that regional Victoria would be put under stage three restrictions starting this Wednesday that mandate the closure of cafes, bars, and restaurants. Schools in Victoria will also resume online learning.
All new restrictions will be in effect for six weeks after the date of coming into effect.
Victoria last declared a state of disaster when bushfires hit the region at the start of the year.