ADF to help implement lockdown in Victoria

At the request of Acting Prime Minister James Merlino, Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed that a total of 160 Australian Defense Force (ADF) personnel will be dispatched to Victoria to assist in the enforcement of the state’s lockdown.

The total number of cases associated with the Whittlesea cluster of CCP viruses has increased to 45, with 5 new cases recorded in the last 24 hours. All of these are B1617 strains of the first virus identified in India and are believed to be 50% more contagious than other variants.

This cluster caused Victoria to lock down for seven days. This is the state’s fourth lockdown in 15 months. Over 15,000 primary and secondary contacts were told to self-quarantine. The number of exposed sites on the list has increased to 290 in the past week.

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s comment that the Commonwealth will work closely with Victorian authorities,” Merlino told reporters.

“I would like to thank him for that. I contacted the Prime Minister this morning with some additional support needed to do so. I will formally request additional ADF staff.

“The request was for at least the next two weeks to about 160 ADF staff, positive case door knocks, major close contact door knocks,

“With 160 ADF staff in the coming weeks, we can effectively double our ability to do that work and ensure that people do the right thing.”

According to Merlino, personnel authorized to check for self-quarantine will work in pairs and additional support will be provided during the work.

Authorities are most concerned about Maldial Rock’s Sporting Gloves, Prahran’s Three Monkeys Bar and Somewhere Bar, Port Melbourne’s locals, and the Palace Hotel in South Melbourne.

“If you’ve been to these places, you’ve partyed with people who are COVID-positive,” said Jeroen Weimar, Victoria’s head of testing.

Vicotria conducted 45,301 COVID-19 tests on Thursday and 16,752 people were vaccinated.

The lockdown is estimated to cost Victoria $ 1 billion in economic losses.

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