Australia: ’State of disaster’ declared across Victoria and curfew set for Melbourne | Coronavirus

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  • Australia’s state of Victoria declared a disaster on Sunday and imposed a nightly curfew for the capital Melbourne as part of its harshest movement restrictions to date to contain a resurgent Covid-19.

    Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, is already under a reimposed six-week stay-home order but it’s struggling to rein in the disease, with record numbers of infections of coronavirus last week.

    A curfew from 8pm to 5am every day will be implemented from Sunday evening in Melbourne, barring the nearly five million people in the city from leaving their houses except for work or to receive or give care.

    The sweeping new restrictions limit the time Melbourne residents may spend on outdoor exercise and essential shopping. All schools will move to remote learning from Wednesday.

    On Sunday, Victoria, the second-most populous state, reported 671 infections – one of its highest – and seven Covid deaths.

    High numbers of community transmissions and cases of unknown origins have forced the new restrictions, which will be in place for six weeks, officials said.

    “The current rules have avoided thousands and thousands of cases each day, and then thousands of people in hospital and many more tragedies than we have seen. But it is not working fast enough,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told a televised briefing.

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    In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

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    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

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