Melbourne lockdown ‘demoralising’ but a lesson for us all

Victoria’s return to tough restrictions shows the need for all Australians to step up efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, the Federal Government has warned.

Jul 14, 2020, updated Jul 14, 2020
Victoria is setting up a testing facility on the SA border. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Victoria is setting up a testing facility on the SA border. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Melbourne has recorded an eighth consecutive day of triple-figure coronavirus infection increases as Sydney deals with concerning disease spotfires.

Victorian authorities reported 177 new cases on Monday, a decrease from last week’s high of 288.

Federal Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar, whose seat of Deakin is in Melbourne, said the return to tight restrictions had been “demoralising”.

“I think ‘demoralising’ is probably the word,” he told the ABC.

“I’m hoping that we can use that feeling to motivate us all to do the right thing, to make sure that this is the last lockdown.”

Prior to the spike in cases, Australians’ personal stress, anxiety and loneliness was starting to lift.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on Monday just 24 per cent of those surveyed reported experiencing one or more sources of personal stress in June, compared to 43 per cent in April.

Significantly fewer people reported feelings associated with anxiety and depression in June compared to April.

“Now that some parts of the country are either having to reinstate some restrictions or put a pause on easing them it will be important to understand what impact this is likely to have on people’s mental health,” head of ABS household surveys Michelle Marquardt said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he hoped people across every state took heed of the uptick in cases.

“We don’t want to have to go back, but that requires everybody to keep showing that discipline,” he told 2GB radio.

NSW is being closely watched after reporting 21 cases on Monday, most of which were linked to the Crossroads Hotel in southwest Sydney.

Health authorities are examining whether a Victorian person was the source.

NSW Police Minister David Elliott has issued a stern warning to the hospitality industry as well as patrons after the escalation of cases at pubs and clubs.

“We cannot afford to have these sorts of slips when it comes to the restrictions that are in place allowing our hospitality industry to begin the road to recovery,” he told reporters in Sydney.

“Patrons also have to take responsibility. If we have to close hotels and pubs again the patrons will have to take some of the ownership of that.”

A further 1000 Australian Defence Force personnel will be sent to Victoria in a bid to help Melbourne control its coronavirus outbreak.

The reinforcements are on top of 350 troops already working across the state to help ring-fence Melbourne during the city’s second lockdown and boost testing efforts.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the personnel would work on isolation, testing and checkpoint control.

Queensland reported one case of COVID-19 – a person who acquired it overseas and is in hotel quarantine.


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