Melbourne: Australia’s second-most populous state announced a six-week lockdown across metropolitan Melbourne as a coronavirus outbreak risks triggering a second wave of infections in the nation.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said people must stay home except for work, essential services, medical treatment or school.
The state recorded 191 new cases, the biggest daily increase since the crisis began.
"These are unsustainably high numbers of new cases", he told reporters. At such levels it is impossible to 'suppress and contain this virus without taking significant steps'.
The lockdown dashes the hopes of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who’d aimed for most social-distancing restrictions across the nation and border closures to be lifted by the end of July in a bid to revive the crippled economy.
The Victoria outbreak risks deepening and prolonging the nation’s first recession in almost three decades, while wearying Australians who’d hoped the first wave of restrictions imposed in late March had crushed the infection curve.