Australia has decided to put 4.5 Million people under the lockdown who are residing in the suburbs of Melbourne after observing a spike in coronavirus cases. Around 30 suburbs in Melbourne will return to stage three restrictions to flatten the curve and control the pandemic effectively. Residents will have to stay home unless stepping out for grocery shopping, work, caregiving, healthcare, and exercise for a period of four weeks. Furthermore, flights are being diverted to other states, cafes, and restaurants going back to takeaway-only service accompanied by random vehicle checks and breath tests leading to hefty fines. While most of the other Australian states have reported either zero or low single-digit increase in cases such as New South Wales and Queensland, Victoria has reported around 108 new cases in the last 24 hours (Update from: 4th July, it’s the biggest jump since March). The rise in cases has been regarded as a result of community transmission leading to growing concerns. A jump in cases in countries including the US, Israel, and South Korea, has also heightened market concerns regarding economic growth and recession while controlling the spread of COVID-19.
The question remains - Has Australia already hit the second wave?
Here’s what we know:
Though the recent jump has created fears of a second wave of Coronavirus, Australian authorities have denied that the nation is going through a “second wave” as Alison McMillan, the Australian government's Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer said the jump in the cases was "a community outbreak in one part of the city" but she also added, “this is very serious and we all need to take note, as we have warned that this pandemic is not over,".
Was relaxing restrictions, a wise decision?
A professor from Hokkaido University in Japan has issued a warning against the same. He says, “Australia could make the same mistake as his island of Hokkaido”, where once restrictions were relaxed they believed they had the virus under control but they were wrong as the cases spiked again eventually leading Hokkaido to a state of emergency for the second time.
While Prime Minister, Scott Morrison told reports in Sydney that “We will continue on with the process of opening up our economy and getting people back into work. But there will be setbacks from time to time.” adding that “This is part of living with COVID-19”
Updates you need to know about:
- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia have decided to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other essential agencies and organizations to ensure collective pandemic preparedness and prevent it’s long term impacts. Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn also said that ASEAN and Australia need to stay vigilant of the curve of infections while drafting their roadmap regarding easing restrictions.
- Australian health authorities are planning to transition from a nasal swab test to a saliva-based test to confirm the presence of Coronavirus in Melbourne as the former one is uncomfortable to use. The test remains in its trial stage
- Queensland has issued new orders that force sporting teams based in the state into a 14-day quarantine should they play a club based in Melbourne.
- All flights under the Vande Bharat Mission that were scheduled for different destinations in Australia between July 4 to July 14 have been postponed because of restrictions imposed due to Covid-19.
- Any individual who has been in the Melbourne metropolitan area should refrain from attending a high-risk setting such as a hospital, aged care center, or correctional facility for 14 days after leaving Melbourne. This applies to staff, volunteers, and visitors.
- Signs of “Panic Buying” have been observed in Queensland Supermarkets after the Victorian Coronavirus outbreak, shelves with grocery and hygiene essentials (toilet papers) have been stripped bare.
Here’s how you can minimize the chances of a second wave:
- Observe social distancing at all times
- Avoid traveling to Coronavirus hotspots
- Follow strict hand hygiene and respiratory etiquettes
- Avoid non-essential outings
- Don’t panic-buy any essentials
We highly recommend equipping yourself with hygiene essentials if you’re planning to step out often or even for yourself hygiene. Click here to purchase high-quality disposable face masks, disinfectant wipes, vinyl and nitrile gloves, hand sanitisers and more at affordable prices.