MELBOURNE | The australian army has been called on Wednesday in reinforcement to fight against the coronavirus after the onset of an outbreak in Melbourne, the second-most populous city of the huge island-continent.
The State of Victoria has identified for more than a week, in addition to ten new cases each day, particularly in Melbourne.
This is a significant increase in a country where the epidemic seemed to be previously mastered.
The Health minister Greg Hunt has indicated that the federal government has offered logistical support of the army and four States have proposed to participate in the tracing of contacts of infected people.
“This support will allow us to perform more tests and obtain the results quickly,” said a spokesperson for the government of Victoria.
The country has recorded its first death from the coronavirus in a month. He is a man in his eighties who died in the State of Victoria, where the population is concerned about the spread of the virus.
The health authorities have reported long queues in front of the screening centres in Melbourne where patients have been refused on Tuesday due to the high traffic.
Large supermarkets of this State have been forced to limit again on Wednesday purchases of toilet paper and of products of first need, following a rise in demand raises fears of a wave of panic among consumers.
Mr. Hunt felt that the situation has reached a “critical point” and the health authorities were considering putting in place containment measures in the areas most affected by the epidemic.
So far, Australia is the global model in the fight against the sars coronavirus. It has identified approximately 7,500 cases, including 103 deaths out of a population of 25 million inhabitants.
The country currently has about 200 active cases, while several regions do not have any more.
About three-quarters of these infected persons are in the State of Victoria, which has limited the spread of the virus by taking measures early on to limit travel and gatherings. They have been gradually phased out, until this week.
The new outbreak appeared in a Melbourne hotel where were staying australian citizens returning from overseas as well as in a H&M store located in the north of the city and in families living in suburbs.