Military to patrol coronavirus hotspots


The Australian Defence Force will deploy 300 soldiers to patrol COVID-19 hotel quarantine sites and assist in hotspot suburbs amid rising concern over a spike in cases. 

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews requested the assistance confirming today it was finalised in consultation with the states this morning.

"Victoria has requested the assistance of other states as we continue to ramp up testing and community awareness in key coronavirus hot spots," a spokesman said.

"This support will mean we can get even more tests done and results back quickly - and a stronger effort to remind Victorians if you are sick, stay home and get tested.

"We thank our neighbouring states for agreeing to provide this support - which will ensure we keep Victorians safe."

The state has now seen double-digit increases for eight days straight.  Eight of today's new cases are community-spread and only one of them was from hotel quarantine.


Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.
Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton.


Victorian chief medical officer, professor Brett Sutton, said a man in his 80s died from the disease overnight. That brings the total number of deaths in Victoria to 20. It is first death linked to the virus in Australia since May 23.

Yesterday Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed that of the 17 new cases of coronavirus 11 were under investigation as to where they had originated from.

Two others were linked to a known outbreak, three the subject of routine testing while one other was a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.

A total of 20 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Australia yesterday - with one in NSW and two in Western Australia. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has repeatedly criticised interstate travel restrictions and says she will not agree to border closures with any of NSW's neighbour states.

But she has urged against travel to Melbourne, particularly its six current COVID-19 hotspots - the local government areas of Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin.

Originally published as Victoria records 20 new coronavirus cases