Australia Medical News: Military Called In To Help Rein In Surge Of COVID-19 Cases In Victoria
Australia Medical News
: The Australian military was called in today to help tackle a COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne as there seems to an ever increase of new infections each day that is rattling the country's second-most populous city.
The state of Victoria has recorded double-digit increases in new daily cases for more than a week, mostly in the state capital Melbourne representing a sizeable spike in cases in a country that has otherwise successfully curbed COVID-19.
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said the federal government had offered the army's support to respond to the virus outbreak, while four other states had offered help with contact tracing.
Government Officials said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has accepted the offers of assistance from the states and asked for logistical support from the army.
A state government spokesperson said, "This support will mean we can get even more tests done and results back quickly and a stronger effort to remind Victorians if you are sick, stay home and get tested.”
Disturbingly, the country recorded its first COVID-19 death in a month, with a man in his 80s dying in Victoria, where community concern about the virus spread is ramping up. Health officials are saying that more are likely to follow in the next few weeks as already the numbers going into ICU are increasing.
Local media have reported long queues at Melbourne's coronavirus testing centers, where some patients were turned away from overwhelmed facilities Tuesday, prompting the creation of pop-up centers in several virus "hotspots".
Also as before, major supermarkets in the state also re-imposed buying limits on toilet paper and other essentials on Wednesday after an increase in demand sparked fears of a return of panic-buying.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the situation had reached a "critical juncture" and health authorities were considering local lockdowns in the worst-affected areas because of the outbreak.
He said, "Somebody has either not known, or not done the right thing, so we need to be honest about that."
The country has been an international success story to date, recording roughly 7,500 cases of coronavirus and 103 deaths in a population of 25 million.
Numerous regions are believed to be effectively virus free, with fewer than 200 known active cases across the country.
However about three-quarters of those are in Victoria, which had curbed the virus through early restrictions on travel and gatherings. These measures were being gradually rolled back until this week.
It was reported that the new clusters have emerged at Melbourne's Stamford Plaza Hotel, which is being used to quarantine citizens returning from overseas, an H&M clothing store in the city's north, and within extended families in a couple of suburbs.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Victoria is 1,884, with 20 new cases reported in the last 24 hours.
With the one new death reported, to date a total of 20 people have died from coronavirus in Victoria.
However, there have been 241 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Victoria that have been acquired through unknown transmission. There are currently 141 active cases in Victoria.
At present, seven people with coronavirus infection are in hospital, including two patients in intensive care. 1,721 people have recovered from the virus.
Of the total 1,884 cases, there have been 1,588 in metropolitan Melbourne and 241 in regional Victoria. The total number of cases is made up of 1,004 men and 880 women. More than 696,000 tests have been processed to date.
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