1,000 troops to deployed at Melbourne
Published: 05:12 PM, 25 June 2020 Updated: 05:13 PM, 25 June 2020
Australian military have announced on Thursday it would deploy 1,000 troops at Melbourne as an effort to help contain the country’s only significant coronavirus outbreak over fears of a second wave.
Victoria state has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases, recording almost 150 new infections over the past week as new clusters have emerged in Melbourne.
At least 37 cases have been recorded on Thursday, which is the highest national total since mid-April.
While the numbers remain small compared to global tallies, the outbreak has rattled Australia, which has been rolling back restrictions after successfully curbing the virus spread.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said Thursday that 1,000 troops would be deployed to Victoria “in the coming days.”
Up to 850 Australian Defence Force personnel will help monitor returned international travelers being held in hotel quarantine while about 200 others will provide logistical and medical support to COVID-19 testing facilities, she added.
Military personnel are already manning the borders of states that are closed to outside visitors as well as providing planning support to health and emergency management services, including in Victoria.
However, the deployment of such a large military contingent to a major Australian city is unprecedented in the coronavirus crisis.