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Australia Thought the Virus Was Under Control. It Found a Vulnerable Spot.

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  • Australia Thought the Virus Was Under Control. It Found a Vulnerable Spot.


    Australia Thought the Virus Was Under Control. It Found a Vulnerable Spot.
    The authorities have locked down 300,000 people in areas around Melbourne heavily populated by immigrants, reinforcing the coronavirus’s outsized impact on disadvantaged communities.
    By Livia Albeck-Ripka

    July 2, 2020
    Updated 10:59 a.m. ET

    MELBOURNE, Australia — Ring Mayar spends all day knocking on doors in the western suburbs of Melbourne, asking residents if they have a cough, a fever or chills.

    Even if they do not, he encourages them to get tested for the coronavirus, as the authorities race to catch up with a string of outbreaks that is threatening to recast Australia’s success story in controlling the spread.

    “It’s quite daunting,” said Mr. Mayar, the president of the South Sudanese Community Association in the state of Victoria, who has been volunteering in one of the largely immigrant communities where cases are surging.

    The rise in infections — Victoria reported 77 new cases Thursday, the most since March — has driven home the outsized impact of the coronavirus on communities in which working-class immigrants and essential workers are particularly vulnerable to the disease. In these places, people often must venture out for jobs that put them at risk of contracting the virus, and communication by the authorities in residents’ native languages can be patchy.

    As it has elsewhere in the world, the coronavirus found a hole in Australia’s system: It spread in part because of the sharing of a cigarette lighter among security guards working at a hotel where returning international travelers are being quarantined...

  • #2
    Victoria coronavirus cases rise by 108 as Daniel Andrews strengthens lockdown at nine public housing estates

    Posted 7 hours ago, updated 2 hours ago

    Some 3,000 of Melbourne's "most vulnerable" residents will be locked in nine public housing estates for at least five days due to a coronavirus outbreak.

    Premier Daniel Andrews said that in recent days, at least 23 cases had been identified in more than 12 households in the Flemington and North Melbourne public housing estates in inner Melbourne.

    Mr Andrews said the nine towers included 1,345 units of housing and were home to about 3,000 residents.

    Under the stage three restrictions, people in the 12 suburbs can only leave the house for four reasons: work or education, exercise, medical care or caregiving or shopping for supplies.

    However, those living in the nine public housing estates will be in a "hard lockdown" and not able to leave their residence for any reason.