Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Melbourne Lockdown Extended Another Seven Days as Covid Cluster Grows

CoronavirusJun 02, 2021 15:49
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters.

(Bloomberg) -- Melbourne’s lockdown will be extended beyond the initial seven days announced last week as authorities struggle to contain a Covid-19 cluster that’s grown to 60 and is more infectious than seen in the Australian city’s previous outbreaks.

The current restrictions will remain in place in Melbourne for a further seven days, Victoria state acting Premier James Merlino told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday. The lockdown in the city and the rest of the state started on Friday. Restrictions in regional areas of Victoria are proposed to begin easing from 11:59pm on Thursday.

“If we let this thing run its course, it will explode,” Merlino said. “We’ve got to run this to ground because if we don’t, people will die.”

The city of 5 million people has been the epicenter of Australia’s battle to eliminate Covid-19 cases within the community, and is now in its fourth lockdown since the pandemic began. The current cluster originated from a breach in a hotel in neighboring South Australia state being used to quarantine Australians returning from overseas.

The outbreak shows the limitations of Australia’s strategy to eliminate the virus from the community through tight border controls. While day-to-day life for most Australians has largely returned to normal this year, cases have sometimes leaked into the community, triggering localized lockdowns and internal travel bans implemented by states and territories that have caused upheaval to the retail and tourism industries.

In a bid to ease pressure on Melbourne businesses, the Victorian government has announced support for small and medium-sized businesses of A$460 million ($357 million). Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s federal government has ruled out further financial support.

Under pressure

Morrison’s government is under pressure to relocate quarantine facilities away from hotels in the central business districts of major cities by funding purpose-built facilities in regional areas. He’s also been criticized for a slow rollout of the vaccine program, with about 4.3 million people in the nation of 26 million so far receiving their first jab.

Mark Butler, the health spokesman for the opposition Labor party, told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday that it was estimated the state’s lockdown could be costing the national economy about A$1 billion a week.

Morrison’s government should “be seeking proposals for a network of facilities to take the pressure off our hotel system, which is leaking the virus almost on a weekly and fortnightly basis and was built for tourism purposes,” Butler said.

‘We have stepped up to the plate in supporting business and the federal government needs to do exactly the same thing,” Victoria’s Merlino said, calling for wage subsidies for workers waylaid by the lockdown. “Victorian businesses are absolutely devastated by this lockdown, as are families and businesses.”

Genome sequencing has confirmed the cases in Victoria are from the variant that was first detected in India. Merlino said in a separate statement on Wednesday that authorities had discerned that one in 10 current cases had caught the variant of the virus now spreading in Victoria from a stranger.

“People brushing against each other in a small shop,” he said. “Getting a take-away coffee from the same cafe. Being in the same place, at the same time for mere moments. Just walking past someone you’ve never met can mean the virus is jumping to a whole new network.”

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Melbourne Lockdown Extended Another Seven Days as Covid Cluster Grows
 

Related Articles

Sydney emerges from pandemic lockdown, beer in hand
Sydney emerges from pandemic lockdown, beer in hand By Reuters - Oct 11, 2021

By Jonathan Barrett SYDNEY (Reuters) - Sydney's oldest pub opened one hour early on Monday to welcome back its regulars after the city emerged from a more than 100-day lockdown,...

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email