Despite essentially cutting off all international travel in an attempt to “raise the drawbridge” and keep out COVID-19 after mostly purging it from their society, Australia is entering its fourth COVID-inspired lockdown in Melbourne, the country’s second-largest city.
The lockdown began Thursday and was set to remain in place for a week for Melbourne and the rest of Victoria state after a new cluster of cases was uncovered, yielding 26 new infections, including one person who was sent to intensive care, the AP reports.
Another 10K people have reportedly had some form of contact with those infected.
“Unless something changes, this will be increasingly uncontrollable,” Victoria Acting Premier James Merlino said.
Australia’s federal goverment declared Melourne a hot spot, allowing the city to tap additional federal resources. PM Scott Morrison said 218 military personnel would be dispatched to Victoria to help administer vaccine doses to the population. Additional doses have been sent to Victoria, where only 3.9MM doses have been administered so far among a population of 26MM.
Health Minister Greg Hunt described the lockdown, which begins at midnight, as “highly regrettable, but necessary restrictions under the current circumstances.”