Australia's government to back Victoria's strict coronavirus lockdown

Victoria notes 397 new cases; and 124 cases are linked to Fawkner

Mr Andrews also revealed that one in four Victorians were not isolating when the Australian Defence Force and public health officials did a routine check-up.

Three weeks ago, the premier of Victoria state imposed what the country calls a "stage three lockdown" on Melbourne and surrounding areas.

The center of Australia's COVID-19 universe is Melbourne in the state of Victoria.

Movement restrictions and business operations would also be limited in the rest of the state, but not to the same level as in Melbourne.

Daniel Andrews, premier of Victoria, on Saturday flagged stricter lockdown measures to curb community transmission.

Andrews said his government was deeply anxious that 49 "mystery cases" identified on Saturday could indicate the virus was spreading widely through the Melbourne community and confirmed he was in discussions with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison about tougher restrictions.

Supermarkets will remain open, and restaurants, already closed for dining in, will be able to continue with their takeaway and delivery services. "This is the only option we have".

"Even minor changes have a significant cost".

"What we have at the moment are numbers that are too high of community transmission and that is a concern to us", he told reporters. "What we may be doing now may not be enough". At least one of the 17 new cases has no known source of infection.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said extra nurses had been provided to the facility and all staff and the residents at the home were being tested.

The Australian Medical Association and other medical experts have led growing calls for the type of tough stage four lockdown that has halted the virus in New Zealand. But if it's possible to work or study from home, you must.

NSW on Saturday confirmed 17 new cases, coinciding with the closure of several Sydney venues for deep cleaning and contact tracing after being linked to coronavirus.

The situation was dubbed "very serious" with 116 deaths in Victoria (201 in Australia), and 5,919 active cases in the state of which 379 were in hospital.



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