- This is the first closure of that border in about 100 years.
- “What is occurring in Victoria has not yet occurred anywhere else in Australia,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
- The COVID -19 outbreak in Melbourne has jeopardized the strategy of normalizing the country’s economic activities.
Australia’s most populated states of Victoria and New South Wales are set to close their common border as of today at midnight following a spike in COVID-19 cases, government officials announced. This is following the registration by Victoria of 127 new infections in the last 24 hours.
Victoria’s recent total is the highest daily number ever recorded in that region since the start of the pandemic. The move was also provoked by the death of a 90-year-old man. Of the 127 new cases, 53 originated from the nearly 3,000 people confined since Saturday in nine housing towers in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, as announced by the state’s officials.
The combined population of the states of Victoria and New South Wales is roughly 13.9 million people, representing more than 50 percent of Australia’s total population. This is the first closure of that border in about 100 years, and the agreement to close it was courtesy of a phone call between Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New South Wales Premier Gladys Berijiklian.
“What is occurring in Victoria has not yet occurred anywhere else in Australia,” Premier Berejiklian said. She stressed that most of the infections there were coming from community transmission rather than from travelers returning from overseas. “It is a new part of the pandemic and, as such, it requires a new type of response,” she added.
Australian authorities are equally set to issue special permits for people who have to cross the border to work, especially in occupations considered essential. Melbourne’s outbreak has worsened in the past two weeks, and has led to the confinement of more than 30 blocks since Saturday in the city of almost five million inhabitants, as well as nine housing towers.
The resurgence of the coronavirus is being majorly attributed to the non-compliance with social distancing measures by hotel security guards, where travelers returning to Melbourne serve a two-week quarantine.
The COVID -19 outbreak in Melbourne, responsible for almost all daily infections in Australia, has jeopardized the strategy of normalizing the country’s economic activities, which registered more than 8,500 cases, including 105 deaths, since the beginning of the pandemic.
The COVID -19 pandemic has so far caused more than 531,000 death and infected more than 11.3 million people in 196 countries and territories across the world, according to a report prepared by AFP. The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, China.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), to protect oneself and others from the Coronavirus pandemic, one is supposed to observe a range of hygiene and a healthy lifestyle measures, which include washing hands frequently and thoroughly by use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or by cleaning one’s hands with soap and water, preferably using flowing water, like tap water, as well as observing general hygiene measures.