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Police set up suburban checkpoints to contain Melbourne virus hotspots

Police set up suburban checkpoints to contain Melbourne virus hotspots

Suburban checkpoints have been set up by police in new COVID-19 hotspots in Melbourne in an effort to contain the virus, as the city grapples with new outbreaks.

Police set up suburban checkpoints to contain Melbourne virus hotspots

Police have been seen flagging down cars in suburban streets after 36 suburbs in Victoria’s capital returned to lockdown due to a spike in new infections.

On Thursday, Victoria reported 77 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to Thursday morning, continuing a run of double-digit daily increases over several weeks while new infections in most other states stay at zero or low single digits.

The recent jump in Victoria has stoked fears of a second wave of COVID-19. Most Australian states are reopening their internal borders except to Victoria.

Neighbouring New South Wales, the most populous state, has kept its border open except to people arriving from the 36 Victorian suburbs.

While restrictions are only in place in certain postcodes in Melbourne, Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton is urging everyone in the state to “consider how we minimise our interactions with other people”.

“All of us across Victoria have to really consider whether we need to see people in other settings, other households, including family members and friends. That will be the best mitigation,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, the Northern Territory reported its first infection in two months after a traveller who had entered the country via Melbourne and completed the mandatory two-week quarantine showed symptoms after returning to his home territory.

The infected person, aged in their 30s, has been isolated in hospital.

Australia has fared better than many countries in the pandemic, with around 8,000 cases, 104 deaths and fewer than 400 active cases.

Globally, coronavirus cases exceeded 10 million on Sunday, a major milestone in the spread of a disease that has killed more than half a million people in seven months.

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