MELBOURNE.- The Australian authorities declared today the state of disaster in Victoria because of "unacceptably high" number of coronavirus cases over the past few weeks and announced a night curfew in the state capital Melbourne, epicenter of the second wave of infections.
The decision was made by the head of the regional government, Daniel Andrew, after they were reported in Victoria in the last 24 hours seven deaths and 671 new cases, of which the source of contagion of the vast majority is unknown.
"If we don't make changes, we are not going to get through this," Andrews warned. "We need to do more, and that is why we have made this decision," he added.
The state of disaster, which took effect from 18:00 (local time) and will last at least six weeks, it grants greater powers to the Police and allows to arrest and fine people who skip the curfew.
The curfew in Melbourne rules between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., period in which the population will only be able to leave home to work, shop, exercise within a radius of five kilometers and go to the doctor.
In addition, the movements of residents of Melbourne will be limited, the second most populous city in the country with around five million inhabitants, where there is a second confinement until August 19, although it is expected to be expanded, and the mandatory use of masks.
Andrew stressed that only one person in each house will be able to go to the supermarket and only once a day with the aim of reducing the movements of the population, while restaurants and cafeterias will be able to remain open only for the delivery of food and drink at home.
most of Colleges and universities in Melbourne to return to distance learning beginning Wednesday at night, a few weeks after returning to the classroom, while nurseries and day centers will close from Thursday.
Weddings are also prohibited in the city. In the worst of the crisis, marriages had been limited to a maximum of five people.
"These are the decisions made because something less strict will not keep us safe," Andrews said.
Likewise, he announced that tomorrow he will announce a new battery of restrictions for work activities.
"I want to make sure that all our inhabitants do not suffer any impact," he said.
Australia, which successfully managed the first wave of infections, has faced an increase in cases linked to an series of failures in hotels enabled for travelers from abroad keep a mandatory quarantine for two weeks.
Victoria was affected by an upturn in cases since June and registers to date 123 of the 208 deceased nationwide.
New South Wales confirmed his first deathCovid-19 related in over a month as authorities tried to quell a number of growing outbreaks at a hotel and several restaurants in Sydney.
The country already has a total of 17,895 cases, 11,557 of them in the state of Victoria, which is around 60% since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
AFP and AP agencies
. (tagsToTranslate) Australia: curfew in Melbourne and state of disaster in Victoria due to outbreaks – LA NACION