Victoria gov’t closes borders and put residents of tower blocks under house arrest
NSW to close its border with
Victoria as result of “covid-19
The Victorian border with New South Wales will be closed from Tuesday night following talks between Premiers Daniel Andrews and Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the ABC understands.
Andrews announced the closure at a press conference this morning where he said Victoria had recorded a further 127 new coronavirus cases and a man in his 90s had died in a Victorian hospital.
He said the decision to close the border followed talks with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The three leaders agreed closing the border would be the “smart call” at this point in time, Mr Andrews said.
“That closure will be enforced on the New South Wales side, so as not to be a drain on resources that are very much focused on fighting the virus right now across our state,” Mr Andrews said.
The closure will take effect from 11:59pm on Tuesday.
The decision followed a weekend that saw Victoria record 108 new cases on Saturday – the second highest increase in the state in a single day since the pandemic began – and lock down nine public housing estates in inner Melbourne in a bid to contain an outbreak of the virus
Another 74 coronavirus cases were recorded in the state yesterday.
The Premier said that of today’s 127 new cases, 16 were detected in the public housing towers that had been locked down.
An additional 10 infections from earlier numbers had been linked to the towers, bringing the total in the outbreak to 53 cases.
“It’s essentially a doubling of the numbers since yesterday,” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.
Andrews said there would be a permit system for people who needed to cross the NSW border.
“There will be a facility for people who live on those border communities to be able to travel to and from for the purposes of work, the purposes of the essential health services they might need,” he said.
Victoria has recorded 191 new cases of coronavirus overnight, the largest single-day increase so far in the state.
The record number of new infections brings the number of active cases of COVID-19 to 772.
The possibility of further lockdowns is a real prospect, with Premier Daniel Andrews previously warning more postcodes could have restrictions reimposed on them if the virus continues to spread.
This morning there was a meeting of the Crisis Council of Cabinet, which includes Mr Andrews and seven senior ministers.
The Premier is expected to hold a press conference this afternoon.
The ABC understands regional and rural areas of Victoria that have no or few cases of the virus may be spared from any lockdowns, with the Government considering restrictions for Melbourne instead.
Here is a livestream
More lockdowns are expected for Victoria after the Andrews Government’s COVID-19 Crisis Council of Cabinet meets on Tuesday.
According to The Australian, more lockdowns are likely to be announced when Premier Daniel Andrews addresses the media this afternoon…
….Meanwhile, Health Minister Greg Hunt is not ruling out further restrictions being imposed in Victoria as the army prepares to lock down the border with NSW at midnight.
Speaking on the Today show, Mr Hunt said rings to curb the spread of coronavirus were being extended to the borders because of the worrying levels of community transmission in Melbourne’s north and western suburbs.
Asked if a total lockdown of Victoria was possible, Mr Hunt replied: “I don’t think that anybody can rule out that if the disease continues to spread, there could be further restrictions.
“I think it is very important to be open and honest about that.
There is F-all about this on Radio NZ
There are 3000 residents in the public housing blocks in Flemington and North Melbourne. Some of the residents are refugees from war-torn nations who are making new lives in Australia.
On Saturday the residents were told to stay in their apartments and since then there’s been a heavy police presence stopping people from coming and going.
Announcing the closure of the Victoria’s borders with neighbouring New South Wales, Premier Daniel Andrews said of today’s 127 new cases in the state, 16 were detected in the public housing towers that have been locked down.
An additional 10 infections from earlier numbers have been linked to the towers, bringing the total in the outbreak to 53 cases.
Meanwhile, Max Igan makes his feelings clear