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Australia’s Victoria State Declared Disaster Area Due to Coronavirus Outbreak

People line up to enter a supermarket hours before a citywide curfew is introduced in Melbourne, Sunday, Aug 2, 2020. The premier of Australia’s hard-hit Victoria state has declared a disaster among sweeping new coronavirus restrictions across…

Australia’s southern Victoria state has been placed under a state of disaster as a surge of new coronavirus cases continues to engulf the nation’s second-largest state.

Under the decree announced Sunday by Premier David Andrews, an evening curfew is now in effect from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. local time for five million residents of Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria. Residents will only be allowed to shop and exercise within 5 kilometers of their homes, and only one person per household will be allowed to leave their homes once a day to pick up essential goods. All schools will shut down and switch to remote-based learning. The only exceptions to the rule are for work or to receive medical care.

The new restrictions extend Melbourne’s current six-week lockdown for another six weeks. Premier Andrews said Sunday 671 new COVID-19 cases, including seven deaths, had been recorded, bringing its total number to 11,937 and 136 deaths. Victoria is expected to report over 400 cases on Monday.

All of Australia now has a total of 17,938 novel coronavirus cases and 208 deaths.