The Australian state of Victoria, which saw an increase in coronavirus cases last week, is effectively separating itself from the rest of the country.
Victorian authorities announced today that they will close the border with the neighboring state of New South Wales starting at night local time.
It comes after a man in his 90s died of coronavirus at a hospital in Victoria on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 21 states, Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said today. There have been 105 coronavirus-related deaths nationwide.
Locks and mass tests: Andrews placed 3,000 people in nine public towers in Melbourne on Saturday under “heavy closure.” Residents would not be able to leave their homes for any reason, and everyone will be tested.
Authorities provided meals and other necessities for residents, Andrews said.
A total of 398 tower tests have been conducted so far, of which 53 cases are positive. Further mass testing across the state by Sunday had revealed 127 new cases in Victoria.
“If you literally want to test everyone, you’ll find more cases. That’s what we’re trying to achieve,” Andrews said. “When you are invited to a test … the only answer should be.”
He added that his government was concerned about “the huge number of people (in the towers) with basic health conditions infected with the virus” and “the tragic outcomes that would come with it”.