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Coronavirus: toughest lockdown seen in Australia

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Bna World desk: Amid a second wave of coronavirus, the entire city of Melbourne has just been ordered back into lockdown for six weeks.

But for 3,000 people living in public housing tower blocks, an even stricter lockdown was imposed on Saturday.

Unlike other Melburnians, residents of the nine towers cannot leave for any reason – they are subject to a police guard.

It’s the toughest lockdown seen in Australia so far.

The “detention directions” in suburbs of Flemington and North Melbourne are designed to contain a cluster of infections found in some of the buildings.

Hundreds of police were sent to the sites immediately after the order was announced live on TV by Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews.

Many residents were caught unaware. When they tried to leave the building, they were stopped.

For many, as news of the confinement spread, alarm and panic followed. An official letter distributed to residents said the lockdown would last for between five and 14 days.

The majority of residents have limited income and come from non-English-speaking backgrounds. Many are migrants – some who arrived as refugees – from African nations, Vietnam and China. There are many young families and pensioners.

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