Officials in Victoria have reportedly called upon the Australian Defence Force for assistance in battling the state’s growing COVID-19 resurgence, which has seen the southern state record 8 consecutive days of double-digit new cases.
State Government officials have requested military support to help manage the coronavirus hotels – which are housing people returning from overseas – after at least 33 staff members and security personnel contracted the virus while working.
Shortcomings in health training and failure to adhere to social distancing protocols on the job are being blamed for the spike in cases among hotel and security personnel, and Victorian officials are currently investigating the links between those workers and the multiple family-based clusters that have suddenly put Victoria back into a rather precarious position.
It’s understood that as many as 1,000 military personnel will be placed on the ground in Melbourne as part of ongoing efforts regarding the state’s battle against coronavirus. Those personnel will be assisting with various emergency management efforts and logistics support.
In addition to the ADF, Victoria has asked the other states and territories for assistance in getting the new spike of positive cases back under control.
A State Government spokesperson asserted “This support will mean we can get even more tests done and results back quickly – and a stronger effort to remind Victorians if you are sick, stay home and get tested.”
Currently, some 28 ADF personnel are in Victoria actively working on the state’s coronavirus response. The bulk of that group is engaged with planning support.
At this stage, it is not known what role the potential 1,000 new military personnel will play in Victoria, or whether that means coronavirus hotel security will be handed over to the ADF.
A previously floated plan to divert incoming international repatriation flights from high-risk countries away from Melbourne was abandoned late last night.