'Melbourne needs lockdown extension to avoid running into third wave of COVID-19'

Updated: 07 September, 2020 09:52 IST | Agencies | Melbourne

Police arrested eight people during an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne on Saturday

A police officer places a face mask on a protester after arresting her for participating in an anti-lockdown demonstration in Melbourne. Pic/AFP
A police officer places a face mask on a protester after arresting her for participating in an anti-lockdown demonstration in Melbourne. Pic/AFP

The premier of Australia’s Victoria state announced a slight easing of restrictions in Melbourne but the country’s second-largest city will remain in lockdown until at least October 26.

Police arrested eight people during an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne on Saturday. “Despite all the warnings, it was disappointing to see individuals turn out to protest in the city, putting the lives of Victorians at risk,” a police statement said.

On Sunday, health officials said Victoria recorded 63 new cases and five more deaths. It takes the state’s total fatalities to 666 and the national death toll to 753. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said from September 13, the nightly curfew will start an hour later at 9 pm and run until 5 am. People living alone can nominate a friend or family member who can visit them. Two hours of daily exercise will be allowed, including picnic at a park or reading a book at the beach.

He said further curbs could be eased from September 28 and the government will consider lifting the curfew entirely from October 26. “There is only one option and that is to do this in a series of steady and safe steps. You can’t run out of lockdown. Because all you are doing is running into a third wave and we’ll all be locked up again,” BBC quoted Andrews as saying.

“We can’t open up at this time. If we were to, we would lose control very quickly... I want a Christmas that is as close to normal as possible and this is the only way, these steps are the only way that we will get to that point.”

Post-COVID-19 inflammatory syndrome severely damages children’s hearts: Study

An inflammatory syndrome in children, believed to be linked to COVID-19, could damage their heart to such an extent that some kids may need lifelong monitoring and interventions, according to a review of studies.

The research, published in the journal EClinicalMedicine, assessed over 600 case studies of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), revealing that the condition can strike seemingly healthy children without warning three or four weeks after asymptomatic COVID-19 infections.

Alvaro Moreira, professor and study co-author, said, “It can be lethal because it affects multiple organ systems. Whether it be the heart and the lungs, or the neurologic system, it has so many different faces that initially it was challenging for clinicians to understand.”

Speaker wants daily tests for UK MPs

The Speaker of the House of Commons on Sunday called for daily COVID-19 tests on lawmakers in order for Parliament to resume its sessions with a full House. Sir Lindsay Hoyle said that the use of face masks during sessions was ruled out to further cut down on the physical distancing requirements within the Commons but he was keen to see daily tests as a means of encouraging greater participation in person by MPs. Under current rules in place, the number of people allowed in both the House of Commons and Lords is strictly limited to control the spread of COVID, with some members joining in sessions remotely via video conference.

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First Published: 07 September, 2020 08:46 IST

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