Daily US Times: Australia has deployed its military to Sydney to help enforce a Covid-19 lockdown.
A Delta outbreak which began in June and later spread all across the world has produced nearly 3,000 infections and led to nine deaths in the city
Before beginning unarmed patrols on Monday, Australian Defence Force soldiers will undergo training on the weekend.
But many have questioned the govt’s decision to deploy military, calling it heavy-handed.
The lockdown in Sydney – in place until at least 28 August – bans people from leaving their home except for shopping, essential exercise, caregiving and other reasons.
Despite five weeks of lockdown, infections in Australia’s largest city continue to spread. The city officials recorded 170 new cases on Friday.
Soldiers will join police in Covid-19 hotspots to ensure people are following the rules, which include a 6.2 miles (10km) travel limit.
David Elliott, State Police Minister, said it would help because a small minority of Sydneysiders thought “the rules didn’t apply to them”.
Information provided by health officials indicates the coronavirus is mainly spreading through permitted movement.
A civil rights group named The Australian Lawyers Alliance called the deployment a “concerning use” of the army in a liberal democracy.
The outbreak has largely affected critical workers and large family groups in Sydney’s poorer and ethnically diverse west and south-west suburbs. About 2m people live there.
Critics say those areas have already faced “targeted” policing measures, pointing out restrictions there are harsher than for the rest of Sydney.