Coronavirus testing blitz launched in Broadmeadows

Grant Boone
June 27, 2020

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) will deploy over 1,000 military personnel to the state of Victoria to help contain an outbreak of COVID-19, authorities announced Thursday.

Of the new cases in Victoria, seven are linked to known outbreaks, five have been detected in hotel quarantine, five have been detected through routine testing, and 13 are under investigation.

"This suburban testing blitz is all about finding all of those people that have this virus, then having them quarantined in their home with appropriate support", he told reporters.

New South Wales (NSW), which has maintained an open border with Victoria throughout the pandemic, advised those travelling from Melbourne to self isolate for a period of two weeks.

"We will have approximately 850 providing logistical support, and also providing quarantine support at hotels".

This additional assistance to the Victorian Government supplements existing planning support to Emergency Management Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Victoria reported 33 new cases on Thursday, the state's largest daily increase in close to three months, further fuelling concerns over a second wave of infections.

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"The first three days are exclusively focused on Keilor Downs and Broadmeadows, but we will move to the balance of those suburbs over the course of a 10-day period", Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday.

He said the authorities were hoping to test as many as 100,000 people over 10 days.

The premier said the government did not want to impose local lockdowns, but it was important to get an idea of how the virus is spreading.

Health workers fanned out across suburbs of Melbourne yesterday in a testing blitz aimed at choking off a surge in coronavirus cases in Australia's second-biggest city.

Around 20,000 tests were carried out in the first 24 hours of the effort, state deputy chief health Officer Annaliese van Diemen said on Friday.

Meanwhile, dozens of Centrelink contract staff who live in the state's six hot spot areas have been stood down.

A new testing centre was opened at Broadmeadows Central this morning. The numbers will grow, but that's exactly the strategy: "Find these cases".

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