On Wednesday, officials announced that the confinement of Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, will be extended for seven days, in a bid to prevent the recent emergence of local cases of Covid-19.
The original seven days of confinement for five million Melbourne residents will end on Wednesday night. This is the fourth lockdown in Melbourne since the pandemic began.
“We have to eradicate this virus, or people will die,” warned James Merlino, Victoria’s premier, specifying that the city was dealing with a different type of virus that was “more transmissible”.
This B.1,617 variant, known as Kappa, which was first discovered in India, was reported to have been spread by a traveler who had returned from abroad.
Thousands of contact cases have been identified and about 60 people have tested positive in 350 locations.
Merlino said that outside Melbourne, confinement measures imposed on residents of his state would be suspended, but that a series of restrictions would be maintained, such as the number of people allowed to attend weddings or funerals.
In Melbourne, high school students who have taken exams will be able to return to school.
Australia has succeeded in curbing the spread of Covid-19 in its territory with strict border controls and restrictions as new cases emerge.
Brett Sutton, head of health services in Victoria, considered it necessary to expand restrictions to contain infection in the population and described this alternative as a “real monster”.
And he announced that “there are dozens of countries in which no cases of infection were recorded among their residents in 2021 and which completely lost control.”
Australia has recorded less than 30,000 cases and 1,000 deaths from the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.