Covid: Military To Help Execute Lockdown In Australia

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Hundreds of soldiers have been deployed by Australia to Sydney so as to help execute a Covid lockdown.

A Delta outbreak which started in June has inflicted almost 3,000 infections and resulted to nine deaths.

Australian Defence Force soldiers will go through training during the weekend before commencing unarmed patrols by Monday.

Residents vacate the streets as lockdown commences

 

However, many have challenged whether the military intervention is necessary, calling it heavy-handed.

The lockdown – which will last until at least 28 August – prohibits people from leaving their home except for essential exercise, shopping, caregiving and other reasons.

Despite five weeks of lockdown, infections in the nation’s largest city persist to circulate. Officials reported 170 new cases on Friday.

Soldiers will join police in virus hotspots to secure that people are adhering to the rules, which includes a 10km (6.2 miles) travel limit.

State Police Minister David Elliott said it would help because a small minority of Sydneysiders thought “the rules didn’t apply to them”.

Information given by health officials implies the virus is primarily spreading through permitted movement.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance, a civil rights group, called the deployment a “concerning use” of the army in a liberal democracy.

The outbreak has vastly affected critical workers and large family groups in the city’s poorer and ethnically diverse west and south-west suburbs. About two million people reside there.

Critics say those areas have already faced “targeted” policing measures. They point out restrictions there are harsher than for the rest of Sydney.

“Our people are one of the poorest demographics, and as it is, they already feel picked on and marginalised,” said Steve Christou, one local mayor.

“They can’t afford to pay the mortgage, the rent, the food or work. Now to throw out the army to enforce lockdown on the streets is going to be a huge issue to these people,” he told SBS.

Others have called for the government to increase its vaccine drive and support services for the affected communities.

 

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