Australian state of Victoria enters 7-day lockdown

Latest outbreak traced to a single breach of quarantine, with current variant described as five times more contagious than previous ones.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Coronavirus in Australia
Coronavirus in Australia

After what is being described as single breach of quarantine regulations, the entire state of Victoria, Australia, home to almost seven million people, is going into a seven-day lockdown, for the fourth time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents and visitors will only be permitted to leave their homes for purposes defined as essential: caregiving, shopping for vital commodities, exercise, essential work, and to get vaccinated. All non-essential stores must close, and masks must be worn everywhere.

According to The Guardian, around 10,000 people have been in contact with one or more of the 26 confirmed cases, either primarily or secondarily, and one person has been hospitalized in serious condition.

The Australian government is being subjected to harsh criticism for its failure to prevent this latest outbreak, especially after Prime Minister Scott Morrison claimed repeatedly that hotel quarantine is “99.9% effective.” The breach now being declared as the source of the outbreak occurred in a hotel in Adelaide.

Acting Premier of the State of Victoria, James Merlino, has admitted that, “We have had breaches out of hotel quarantine,” but added that, “This is a global pandemic where millions and millions of people have died. We are not unique.”

Stressing the need for a lockdown, he noted that, “Our public health experts’ primary concern is how fast this variant is moving. We’ve seen overseas how difficult that movement can be to control … and how contagious it is as well. For some of those cases … how long it takes between the onset of symptoms … is averaging just over a day … [when] the usual transmission is about five to six days. The number of cases has doubled in 24 hours. Unless something drastic happens, this will become increasingly uncontrollable.”

Other Australian states have closed their borders to Victoria, or parts of it.

Speaking at a press conference following the lockdown announcement, Prime Minister Morrison admitted that, “The next seven days in Victoria will be very challenging.”

Challenging also are the questions being posed to the Prime Minister in Parliament, including the query as to why 99% of older Australians have yet to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus, although 50% of those over 70 have received the first dose.