Australia’s military said on Thursday that it would deploy 1,000 troops to Melbourne in an effort to help contain the country’s only significant coronavirus outbreak.
The state of Victoria has seen a spike in Covid-19 cases, recording almost 150 new infections over the past week, with new clusters having emerged in Melbourne, the AFP news agency reported. At least 37 cases were recorded on Thursday – the highest national total since mid-April.
Defense Minister Linda Reynolds said 1,000 troops would be deployed to Victoria in the coming days. Up to 850 Australian Defence Force personnel will help monitor returned international travelers being held in hotel quarantine, while around 200 others will provide logistical and medical support to testing facilities.
Military personnel are manning the borders of all states that are closed to outside visitors, as well as providing planning support to the health and emergency services, in Victoria and elsewhere.