Australia to deploy 1,000 ADF personnel after COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria

Sydney, Australia, June 25, (efe-epa).- The Australian government is set to deploy more than 1,000 soldiers in the state of Victoria to assist in containing the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the second most populated state of the country, Australia’s defense minister said on Thursday.

The Victorian government – whose capital is Melbourne – requested military support on Wednesday night after recording 13 to 25 novel coronavirus cases daily in the last week along with the announcement of the first COVID-19 death in the country in more than a month.Majority of these cases were community transmission.

Some 850 Australian Defense Force personnel will provide monitoring support to hotel quarantine, where the travelers that land in the country are required to be in mandatory quarantine for a period of 14 days, while other 200 will provide logistical and medical support in initiatives to carry out COVID-19 tests, Linda Reynolds said in a statement released.

In an interview to Australia’s Nine News, Reynolds said that the personnel will begin mobilization on Thursday and the deployment is expected to begin on Friday in Melbourne. The capital of Victoria has six hotspot areas at present.

“The COVID-19 pandemic requires a proactive national response and Defense is well postured to provide scalable support to states and territories,” the minister said in the statement released on Thursday.

Amid the crisis due to community transmission, the authorities of the state intend to carry out a large number of tests along with tracing the COVID-19 cases in the immigrant localities where the major number of infections have been reported.

During the outbreak, some thirty security personnel who were guarding the several hotels of Melbourne contracted the infection and later infected their families.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said that the quarantine system in the hotels of Victoria could be improved.

The novel coronavirus cases in the country has affected 7,500 people so far and has claimed 104 lives. Majority of these cases have been reported in New South Wales region.

Last week, the neighboring New Zealand deployed military for overseeing the country’s borders and quarantine centers after a “failure of the system” in which two overseas arrivals were able to leave managed quarantine and later tested positive for the virus. EFE-EPA


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