Sydney (Australia), Aug 2 (EFE) .- The regional government of the Australian state of Victoria announced on Sunday new more restrictive measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, whose second wave of infections has the epicenter in Melbourne.
The restrictions, including the nightly curfew in Melbourne from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., will take effect from midnight and a state of disaster will be declared throughout Victoria for six weeks (until 13 September ).
The head of the regional government, Daniel Andrews, said today at a press conference that in the last 24 hours the death of seven people and 671 new infections of COVID-19 in his territory have been confirmed.
Many of the new cases are local infections with an unknown origin, which has urged the authorities to apply greater measures.
“If we don’t take these steps, we are going to see more and more cases,” Andrews said.
The state of disaster (in addition to the state of emergency already in force) gives greater powers to the police and allows people who miss the curfew to be arrested and fined.
“The current orders have avoided thousands of daily infections, thousands of people who have not come to the hospital and many tragedies. But they are not working fast enough for many reasons,” argued the politician when announcing the new restrictions.
In addition, the movements of residents of Melbourne will be limited, the second most populous city in the country and with around 5 million inhabitants, where a second confinement already governs until August 19, although it is expected to be expanded, and the compulsory use of masks.
Andrews also announced that tomorrow Monday will announce a new battery of restrictions for work activities.
Cases in Victoria account for about 60% of the total of 18,000 COVID-19 cases detected across the country since the start of the pandemic, including more than 200 deaths.
In the neighboring state of New South Wales, which keeps the internal border with Victoria closed, 12 new cases were also confirmed on Sunday and are worried about the expansion of COVID-19 to its territory.
The oceanic country, which successfully managed the first wave of infections, has faced since the beginning of July an increase in cases related to imported infected persons and a series of failures in hotels enabled for travelers from abroad to keep a mandatory quarantine for two weeks .
(c) EFE Agency