A Melbourne mayor has slammed ‘entitled’ residents for refusing to take a coronavirus test as her struggling community prepares to go into lockdown again.
Stay-at-home orders will be reintroduced for more than 310,000 residents in 36 suburbs across Victoria from midnight on Wednesday following a spike in coronavirus cases.
Health authorities have been scrambling to contain the outbreak with a ‘testing blitz’ carried out in the hotspots.
But there have been almost 1,000 people in two hotspots – Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs – who have already refused to take a test.
Sarah Carter, the mayor of Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s inner-west, broke down as she spoke about the looming lockdown on Wednesday morning.
‘It makes incredibly angry when people won’t take the test because this is our community, it is our local economy, their local mums and dads, running these small businesses,’ she told the Today show.
‘They have done it so bloody tough. So I just think it’s the height of entitlement, to be honest, not to take the test.’
Health authorities have been scrambling to contain the outbreak with a ‘testing blitz’ carried out across several hotspots (pictured: Members of the Australian Defence Force carry out temperature checks on motorists)
Australian Defence Force personnel assist with a COVID-19 testing at Melbourne Showgrounds on June 29
Work, exercise, receiving care and food shopping will be the only legitimate reasons to leave the house for people in the 36 suburbs hit by the new lockdown.
Restaurants, gyms, pubs and all other non-essential services in those suburbs must close their doors.
Affected businesses will be compensated with a government cash grant of $5,000.
There are five coronavirus hotspots in Maribyrnong, meaning half the community will be in lockdown.
Ms Carter said residents in her community were incredibly resilient and that she only hoped that traders would be resilient enough to get through a second lockdown.
‘I think there is a general frustration but certainly a sense of solidarity,’ she said.
‘We are a really resilient bunch here in the inner west and I think given the news people are dealing with it OK.
‘We have the most resilient, amazing traders here.
‘And it is kind of like going in the last two weeks to a wedding followed by a funeral. I really hope they are going to be resilient enough to get through this again.’
Sarah Carter, the mayor of Maribyrnong in Melbourne’s inner-west, broke down as she spoke about residents refusing COVID-19 testing despite the looming lockdown on Wednesday morning
The curve in Victoria has skyrocketed over the past couple of weeks as coronavirus infections continue to grow from in Melbourne
Worst days in Victoria
1. 111 new cases on 28 March
2. 96 new cases on 31 March
3. 84 new cases on 29 March
4. 75 new cases on 29 June
5. 68 new cases on 2 April
The forced lockdown orders are due to a spike in coronavirus cases over the past two weeks – the majority of which are due to community transmissions.
Victoria recorded 64 new cases of the virus on Tuesday. The number, down from the 75 reported on Monday, is the state’s sixth-worst figure since the pandemic began.
Victoria ramped up testing over the past few days, conducting more than 17,400 tests on Monday alone, as officials tried to get a handle on the extent of the outbreaks.
Premier Daniel Andrews said if they do not do something to contain the outbreak now, the entire state will be forced into lockdown.
About 800 federal public servants and clinical staff will join Defence personnel helping the Victorian efforts, and Mr Andrews said he wouldn’t hesitate to ask for extra help if needed.
Last week Mr Andrews announced a suburban ‘testing blitz’ for residents in Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs as part of a desperate attempt to control a spike in infections.
This map shows the suburbs which will be subject to stay-at-home orders from Wednesday at 11.59pm after a spike in coronavirus cases
Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday afternoon revealed 928 residents across two Melbourne hotspot suburbs had refused tests for the virus
Maribyrnong Mayor Sarah Carter (pictured) is hoping traders in the inner-west of Melbourne would be resilient enough to get through a second lockdown
But Mr Andrews on Tuesday afternoon revealed 928 residents in the two Melbourne suburbs had refused the swab.
‘There have been some 233 new cases of coronavirus since last Thursday, since that testing blitz began,’ Mr Andrews said.
‘That is an unacceptably high number and one that poses a real threat to all of us, not just in those hotspot suburbs but indeed in every suburb and ultimately every community across our state.’
The premier thanked residents who had come forward for testing but turned his focus on those from the red zones who rejected the service.
Mr Andrews said the suburbs with the highest number of new cases were in Broadmeadows, Fawkner and Albanvale.
Australians were forced into lockdown on March 25, when there was a ban placed on all non-essential services.
Each state has been gradually easing restrictions, with New South Wales allowing restaurants and cafes to host more customers from Wednesday after the government scrapped its 50-person limit on indoor venues.
The move comes as the state’s number of coronavirus cases remains low with just five cases recorded on Tuesday, all of which are in hotel quarantine.
Which 36 suburbs are being locked down again?
3012 – Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray
3021 – Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans
3032 – Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
3038 – Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens
3042 – Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
3046 – Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park
3047 – Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana
3055 – Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West
3060 – Fawkner
3064 – Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickelham, Roxburgh Park, Kalkallo