Editorial comment – Keeping the virus at bay

FILE PHOTO: Victoria Police officers meet outside a public housing tower, locked down in response to an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Melbourne, Australia, July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders

As the Victorian government in Australia fights to try and contain the growing number of COVID-19 cases daily, people of Melbourne now have to endure strict lockdown conditions.

The number of new infections there is growing.

Around the world, there are different opinions on reopening borders, and businesses.

As many countries start to reel from a second wave of the infection, we probably should consider ourselves fortunate we have been placed on containment mode.

There, however, is consideration of the need to rebuild economies, and motivate businesses globally.

We learn that the powers that be in Melbourne have put in place strict laws designed to fight the virus. Under Melbourne’s strict new rules, residents are only allowed to leave the house for one of four essential reasons – shopping for groceries and essential items; medical needs and caregiving; daily exercise in your local area; and work where it’s not possible to do so from home.

Interestingly, like Fiji, a citywide curfew is now in place, from 8pm to 5am every day.

People now have to stay at home during curfew hours. Exercise, we learn, is now limited to one hour, once per day, and must take place within five kilometres of home.

Australian media reported that mask-wearing is now mandatory, including in regional Victoria, and all restaurants and cafes are closed for dining in.

The revelation comes in the wake of the World Health Organization confirming 18,152,718 cases of COVID-19 around the world.

As of yesterday, there have been 691,013 confirmed deaths in 216 countries.

The action in Melbourne shows the seriousness with which they have been forced to take the fight against COVID-19.

On a global scale, Mexico reported 6148 new cases on Tuesday, according to CNN yesterday.

It took Mexico’s total number of cases to 450,000. As of last night, the US had reported 54,000 new cases.

There were 6792 new cases in Argentina yesterday and 166 deaths.

Yesterday, CNN reported US President Donald Trump attended his first COVID-19 task force meeting since April.

Back on the homefront, now that we have recorded our first death from COVID-19 complications, we are reminded to be vigilant.

Our challenge is to contain our number of infected cases.

That means our frontliners have the enormous task of ensuring our borders are safe, and there are no loopholes in our quarantine facilities.

The tough measures now put in place in Melbourne will no doubt bring back memories for us all.

They are measures we had to embrace in the fight against the virus.

Let’s adhere to social distancing rules. Let’s wash our hands often with soap and water.

Let’s cough or sneeze into our elbow or into a tissue and dispose that immediately, safely.

Let’s stay on course Fiji.

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