Asia Minute: South Australia’s Sudden Lockdown

Nov 19, 2020

Communities around the country and the world are responding in different ways to the continuing spread of the coronavirus. In Australia, one state has entered lockdown with a severe and sudden impact.

The state of South Australia has just started a six-day lockdown.

At least three dozen cases of COVID-19 have been found since the first cases were reported Sunday in Adelaide — a city of a little more than one million. The official response has been what government officials call a “circuit breaker” — rapid actions to stop any spread.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reports only one person per household will be allowed to go outside each day, and only then for a specific reason.

You are not allowed to go outside to exercise.

Never mind talk about bars and restaurants — not only are they closed along with nearly every other business, but there will be no weddings and no funerals for the duration of the lockdown.

Grocery stores will not only remain open, in some parts of the state they’ll be allowed to operate 24 hours a day to encourage physical distancing.

The neighboring state of Victoria is closing its border with South Australia — only allowing through truck drivers and those who need to travel for medical or emergency purposes.

Contact tracing has been aggressive. Health officials say about 3,200 people are in quarantine across South Australia, and more than 20,000 people have been tested in the past 48 hours alone.

As of early Thursday morning local time, health officials reported no new cases.