Latest news on coronavirus: GPs cannot meet ‘tsunami’ demand from patients flooding surgeries after holding back during lockdown
AUstralia’s second most populous state, Victoria, will enter a week-long Covid-19 lockdown forcing its nearly seven million residents to stay at home except on essential business as authorities struggle to contain a highly contagious epidemic.
A new cluster of infections in Melbourne detected earlier this week rose to 26 on Thursday after the state reported 12 new cases overnight.
Officials have traced the latest cluster, the first in the state in more than three months, to an overseas traveler infected with a variant first found in India, although the route of transmission of the virus is not still not clear.
From 11:59 p.m. local time (13:59 GMT), Thursday through June 3, people will only be allowed to leave their homes for essential work, health care, shopping, shopping, exercise or to get the coronavirus vaccine.
“We have seen more evidence that we are dealing with a highly infectious strain of the virus, a variant of concern, which is working faster than we have ever recorded,” said the acting premier of Victoria state , James Merlino, in Melbourne.
Mr Merlino said the slow deployment of the vaccine by the federal government was partly to blame for the latest lockdown, saying it was “not where it should be”.