More Than 2,000 Australian Forces Aids States During Pandemic
The Australian Army personnel aids in the tracing and testing effort, enforcing the quarantine regime and the defence of the state borders.
As Australia announced the darkest day of the second wave of epidemic with 741 new cases and 15 deaths more than 2,000 Australia Defence Forces, out of 3336 personnel involved in the whole-of-government effort, were offering professional assistance to the medical staff and police in all of the country’s states.
Around 100 soldiers were involved in the protection of the indigenous communities in Northern Territory. The largest group, 1,507 the army personnel was assisting police in four states Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia. The other soldiers were supporting the border checkpoints, supervising the quarantine compliance orders, the reception and repatriation efforts at the airports and hotels.
More than 550 army officers in Victoria were helping medical staff to trace contacts, engage with communities and conduct the tests. Army also provided logistics support, including the quarantine assistance at the Perth Airport and the planning and coordination of the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre.
Victoria Imposes Stage-4 lock-downs
The state of Victoria reported its highest one-day tally of both new cases of Wuhan virus infections and deaths a day after it introduced Stage-4 lock-down. The day earlier, the Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced higher fines for people who break isolation orders.
Mr Andrews informed that the state had found 725 new positive cases in the past 24 hours and 15 deaths.
The new fatalities increased Victoria’s total from the pandemic to 162.
Of those deaths reported on Wednesday, 12 were linked to care homes for the elderly, which have become a focus of public health efforts in the state.
Victoria has tightened its lock-down on Melbourne after the virus continued to spread.
Essential workers will have to carry a permit issued by their employers and photo identification when traveling to and from work starting from today.
Mr Andrews appealed to those who were not following new restrictions in Melbourne to change their behaviour and stated those who are sticking to the rules were amazing.
The Victoria lock-downs praised by the Medical Journal
The authors of the analysis of the effectiveness of the lock-downs in Melbourne concluded that the state avoided from 9,000 to 37,000 cases of the infection in July. The study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, shows, that instead of hundreds of daily cases, we would have seen thousands, explained Victoria Premier.
Mr Andrews stated that although the state avoided catastrophe, it must introduce stronger measures that order nearly every inhabitant in the city to stay home.
Queensland closes the state borders
The Australian states that were concerned about the spread of the virus announced the closing of its borders. On Wednesday, Queensland Premier Ms Annastacia Palaszczuk declared the neighbouring state of New South Wales a red zone. The state borders will be closed since Saturday, she announced.
We are acting quickly and putting the health of Queenslanders first, she stated. The situation in Victoria has not improved as we hoped, and I am not prepared to wait for New South Wales to get any worse, she stated.
NSW informs about new hotspots
At least six suburbs of south-western and western Sydney became hotspots. We are very concerned about the unlinked cases, emphasised the state’s Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant. She did not exclude that there were chains of transmissions undetected. Ms Kerry appealed to the inhabitants of the suburbs under risk to avoid social gatherings over the next weeks.
Although New South Wales reported 12 new cases, the health authorities feared that the pandemic might spread further.