(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Australia’s second most populous state Victoria will enter a seven-day lockdown to counter a fast-spreading outbreak in its capital, Melbourne.
The lockdown will begin at midnight on Thursday (14:00 GMT).
Authorities have so far found 26 cases, and identified 150 sites where people may have been exposed to the virus.
For locals, there is growing anxiety over similarities between this outbreak and a devastating second wave that swept the state last year.
That outbreak caused more than 20,000 infections and 820 deaths – about 70% of cases and most of the deaths nationwide.
Victoria was forced to endure a marathon 112-day lockdown to bring cases back to zero.
The new outbreak marks the biggest increase in community transmission of the virus in Victoria since then.