Australia's Melbourne could be placed under Covid-19 lockdown: Media

SYDNEY (REUTERS) – Australia’s second-most populous city could be placed under a five-day snap lockdown, local media reported on Friday (Feb 12), potentially limiting crowds at the Australian Open major tennis tournament.

A fresh Covid-19 cluster linked to a quarantine hotel in Melbourne, capital of Victoria state, reached 13 cases as of Thursday midnight as authorities rushed to quash the spread of the virus.

The state Cabinet will consider plans for the hard lockdown with restrictions to be put in place on leaving home for non-essential services and gathering at homes, the Herald Sun newspaper reported, citing a government source.

The lockdown measures are expected to impact only residents of Melbourne, the report said, although those curbs could prevent crowds at the Australian Open tournament.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered his government’s full support with the decisions to be made by Victoria to contain the outbreak.

“We have dealt with (outbreaks) in the last few weeks in Sydney and Brisbane and Perth and so a proportionate response… enables tracers to be able to get on top of it and get the same successful result we have seen in other states,” Mr Morrison told reporters.

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