Canberra, the capital of Australia with a population of around 400,000, will likely enter an instant lockdown after it was revealed there was a new case of COVID-19, according to reports Wednesday evening in from the country.
“For the sake of your health, that of your family and the health of the community, it is essential that the Canberrans take all possible precautions over the next few days,” said Andrew Barr, the chief minister, according to ABC.net.au.
The report says the lockdown will last for seven days. The person who was infected was a male in his twenties, and officials are not sure how he contracted the virus and have listed a number of possible exposure sites. The report called the diagnosis “the most serious public health risk” the Australian Capital Territory has faced in a year.
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Videos have emerged on social media showing the now-familiar sight of customers lining up in supermarkets preparing to squat due to another government mandate. Protests have erupted in major cities across Australia against COVID-19 restrictions. Ezra Levant, the editor of Rebel News who criticized the lockdowns, took to Twitter to criticize the decision.
“A case,” he wrote. “They were locked up because of a case. So of course they will do it again. And again. And every once in a while your prison guards will let you walk around the yard, and you will thank them for the privilege.”
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Residents of the city will likely be asked to stay in their homes for the next seven days and wear masks in public.
The ABC.net.au report said it had been over a year since the last locally acquired case.
“The virus is only transmitted when people move around and come in contact with each other, so the goal here is to reduce the movement of people and reduce the potential for transmission of this epidemic,” Barr said, according to the Guardian. “This is why we are going into a lockdown.”
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