MELBOURNE FIGHTS A SECOND WAVE
Australia’s second-largest city has now imposed some of the toughest restrictions in the world to beat back a new wave of coronavirus infections. Officials are promising a “shock and awe” attack on the virus that will last at least six weeks, according to the Morning Briefing of The New York Times.
There are signs that people are fed up with the lockdown. Our Sydney bureau chief writes that “the new waves of restrictions feel to many like a bombing raid that just won’t end.”
A door-to-door campaign to check in on 3,000 people who had Covid-19 found that 800 of them were not at home. The police are facing opposition. On at least four occasions in the last week, they smashed the windows of cars and pulled people out after they refused to provide their names and addresses.
Australia was seen as a shining example for beating the virus, and it was thought that Melbourne had done so as of late June. But the city’s hotel quarantine program broke down, with travelers passing the virus to security guards, who carried the contagion into their neighborhoods.
The latest lockdown will close stores, return schools to at-home instruction, order restaurants to be takeaway or delivery-only, and child care centers will be available only with special permission. An 8 p.m. curfew is in place. The outbreak in Victoria state peaked at 753 new cases on July 30 and has hovered at around 500 a day ever since.