- Title: Australia to release most from COVID-19 high-rise lockdown despite surge
- Date: 9th July 2020
- Summary: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (JULY 8, 2020) (REUTERS) POLICE WALKING NEXT TO PUBLIC HOUSING BLOCK VARIOUS OF AUTHORITIES WEARING PROTECTIVE CLOTHING OUTSIDE PUBLIC HOUSING
- Embargoed: 23rd July 2020 10:39
- Keywords: Australia COVID-19 Daniel Andrews Melbourne Victoria high-rise building lockdown public housing
- Location: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
- City: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
- Country: Australia
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA002CM36DDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Australia's second most populous state will relax restrictions on many of the 3,000 people held in a complete lockdown for several days despite surging numbers of COVID-19 cases, state premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday (July 9).
Victoria state on Saturday (July 4) confined residents in nine public housing towers to their homes amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, prompting widespread criticism from residents.
Andrews said that after testing all 3,000 people in the towers, residents in eight high rise buildings will be allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons, the same rules in force throughout the state.
"There are such numbers of positive cases, together with known close contacts, that the assumption has got to be that everybody in that tower is a close contact of someone who is positive," Andrews said of the tower that will remain in lockdown.
The relaxation of the rules will be a relief to residents, many of whom have said they have been left without sufficient food and supplies.
Victoria state has imposed broad restrictions on nearly 5 million in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus, allowing people to leave their homes only to work, buy food or seek medical attention.
Australia has avoided the high casualty numbers of other countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed 544,055 people globally, but the outbreak in Victoria has stoked concerns of a second wave nationally.
(Production: Sandra Sanders, Jill Gralow)
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