by Brad Polumbo, Activist Post:
Out of a population of 25.8 million, fewer than 1,000 Australians have died from COVID-19 to date. The latest uptick in cases, which has sent the country into a panic, is still only resulting in less than 5 deaths per day. Yet the Australian government has responded with a return to its past harsh pandemic restrictions—and is now even bringing in the military to police its citizens’ lockdown compliance.
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“The Australian military began helping to enforce Australia’s strictest COVID-19 lockdown Monday, as a surge in delta variant cases in Sydney continued to cause problems,” Voice of America reports. “About 300 troops have been sent to Australia’s largest city to help overstretched police monitor home quarantine for coronavirus patients, and potentially set up roadblocks. The troops will help the police on a door-to-door search to check if people who have contracted COVID are isolating, police commissioner Mick Fuller told reporters during a press conference. Senior officials have said the soldiers will not be armed, and do not have special enforcement authority, but will be assisting the police.”
Australian military is deployed to enforced #COVID lockdown in Sydney.
*Despite 5 weeks of lockdown, virus continues to spread, causing 9 deaths.
*Only 17 percent of Australia’s adult population is vaccinated.https://t.co/X3rXwhuPN4 pic.twitter.com/OvZLNH1hLz
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) July 30, 2021
Melbourne, a major Australian city, just entered its 6th lockdown. (Yes, you read that correctly). It joins many of the nation’s other major metropolises, such as Sydney and Brisbane, in once again restricting its economy and social life. According to the BBC, the lockdown will be in place until at least August 28 and “bars people from leaving their home except for essential exercise, shopping, caregiving and other reasons.”
Image Credit: YouTube Screenshot, Al Jazeera English
These draconian restrictions on Australians’ freedom and livelihoods are, understandably, prompting backlash.
“Our people are [poor and] they already feel picked on and marginalised,” Cumberland Mayor Steve Christou told the BBC. “They can’t afford to pay the mortgage, the rent, the food or work. Now to throw out the army to enforce lockdown on the streets is going to be a huge issue to these people.”