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Australia closes state border for first time in 100 years to halt coronavirus

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Australia closes state border for first time in 100 years to halt coronavirus

By Colin Packham and Renju Jose

 

2020-07-06T023253Z_2_LYNXMPEG6502W_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-AUSTRALIA.JPG

People wearing protective face masks practice social distancing while waiting to enter an Apple store on the first day of New South Wales' further eased coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Sydney, Australia, July 1, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

 

SYDNEY (Reuters) - The border between Australia's two most populous states will close from Tuesday for an indefinite period, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said on Monday, following an outbreak of the coronavirus in his state.

 

The decision marks the first time the border with neighbouring New South Wales has been shut in 100 years - officials last blocked movement between the two states in 1919 during the Spanish flu pandemic.

 

The number of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne, Victoria's capital, has surged in recent days, prompting authorities to enforce strict social-distancing orders in 30 suburbs and put nine public housing towers into complete lockdown.

 

The state reported 127 new COVID-19 infections overnight, its biggest one-day spike since the pandemic began. It also reported one death, the first nationally in more than two weeks, taking the country's total tally to 105.

 

"It is the smart call, the right call at this time, given the significant challenges we face in containing this virus," Andrews told reporters in Melbourne as he announced the border closure.

 

The closure will, however, likely be a blow to Australia's economic recovery as it heads into its first recession in nearly three decades.

 

Andrews said the decision to close the border, effective from 11.59 p.m. local time on Tuesday, was made jointly with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Victoria's only other internal border, with South Australia state, is already closed.

 

Australia has fared better than many countries in the coronavirus pandemic, with just short of 8,500 cases so far, but the Melbourne outbreak has raised alarm bells. The country has reported an average of 109 cases daily over the past week, compared with an average of just 9 cases daily over the first week of June.

 

(Reporting by Colin Packham and Renju Jose; editing by Jane Wardell)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-07-06
 
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4 hours ago, keith101 said:

Will be very hard to close all access between these two states because there are just so many roads unless they are going to have police waste their resources to cover them all .

Police will be patrolling the whole border and using drones for non-road areas.

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

The state reported 127 new COVID-19 infections overnight, its biggest one-day spike since the pandemic began. It also reported one death, the first nationally in more than two weeks, taking the country's total tally to 105.

Second reported death now.

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I say close all the borders.  That way those that are responsible will have a chance and the mindless can stew in it. Oh, and the millenials as well. 

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6 minutes ago, Bkk Brian said:

Settle down, nobody is saying the virus can be stopped. It can however be minimized and better controlled with effective measures. 

I think he is living on a different planet.

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Here in WA we have had the border closed for a long time now. Look at the figures for WA. Tells a good story. The WA people have said they want the border to stay closed too.

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20 minutes ago, jaiyen said:

Here in WA we have had the border closed for a long time now. Look at the figures for WA. Tells a good story. The WA people have said they want the border to stay closed too.

but all these TV PhD experts want these borders open straight away. 

So who is correct  ?      is it that all these know all's actually know nothing   ??

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6 hours ago, steven100 said:

Victorian's are not permitted to cross into NSW.  Maybe make that the new policy forever ..... lol

Need to build a wall to keep the Mexicans out !!

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...biggest one day spike...

...smart call to close the border...

As infection takes up to 2 weeks to surface, I'd call the closure belated at best. A nation needs to be proactive with covid 19 testing ahead of infections to be smart.

Continuous 'group testing' vs individual testing can speed the process that should cover min. 75% of the population.

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7 hours ago, steven100 said:

Victorian's are not permitted to cross into NSW.  Maybe make that the new policy forever ..... lol

Pity, Victorians moving to NSW raises the average IQ of both states. 

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3 hours ago, Bkk Brian said:

Settle down, nobody is saying the virus can be stopped. It can however be minimized and better controlled with effective measures. 

Until the next protest when thousands of people will congregate with no action from the police or the <deleted> weak politician's 

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