Canberra, Australia’s capital with a population of about 400,000 will likely go into a snap lockdown after it was revealed that there was one new case of COVID-19, according to reports Wednesday night from the country.
“For the sake of your health, your family’s health and for the health of the community, it’s critical that Canberrans take every precaution they can over the coming days,” Andrew Barr, the chief minister, said, according to ABC.net.au.
The report said the lockdown will last seven days. The person who was infected was a man in his 20s, and officials are unclear how he came down with the virus and listed a number of possible exposure sites. The report called the diagnosis the “most serious public health risk” the Australian Capital Territory faced in a year.
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Videos emerged on social media showing the now-familiar sight of customers lined up in supermarkets preparing to hunker down due to another government mandate. Protests have broken out in major cities across Australia over COVID-19 restrictions. Ezra Levant, the publisher of Rebel News who has been critical of lockdowns, took to Twitter to criticize the decision.
“One case,” he wrote. “They locked down because of one case. So of course they’ll do this again. And again. And every once in a while your prison wardens will let you go for a walk in the yard, and you’ll thank them for the privilege.”
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Residents in the city will likely be told to stay inside their homes for the next seven days and wear masks in public.
The ABC.net.au report said it has been over one year since the last locally acquired case.
“The virus only transmits when people move around and come into contact with each other, so the objective here is to reduce the movement of people and to reduce the transmission potential of this outbreak,” Barr said, according to the Guardian. “That is why we are going into a lockdown.”