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The Informer: 'A dangerous new phase' of living with COVID looms

'A dangerous new phase' of COVID-19 looms

It's complicated. Moreso than any Facebook relationship update you'll ever read.

But the PM and respective state leaders decided the only way to keep any sort of lid on the coronavirus outbreak in Victoria was to close the border.

The decision to stop travel between the nation's two most populous states will mean, from Wednesday, movement will be restricted to permit holders only.

Keeping those magical state lines intact will be a massive operation. Police and the army will be on the ground, The Border Mail reported, and drones will monitor crossing points.

Given there are 11 local government areas, five police districts, four primary road crossings, 33 bridges, two waterway crossings and multiple smaller roads, it's any wonder the NSW Police are taking to the skies, too.

This decision comes on the back of the state government call to lockdown thousands of residents in Melbourne public housing towers over the weekend. They have been told not to leave their homes for any reason for at least five days.

Concerns for their health and welfare after the snap lockdown was imposed has grown incrementally but the mobilisation of forces of good within communities - as opposed to bureaucracies - has proved uplifting.

"These people in housing estates are taking a huge hit for all of us," Victorian Council of Social Services CEO Emma King said. "I think we as a Victorian community should be very grateful and appreciative to them, and I think people are wanting to help."

Perhaps not everyone.

Today Senator Pauline Hanson entered the debate about the COVID-19 outbreak in public housing on a TV morning show. She responded as you would expect Ms Hanson would respond given her behaviour in the public spotlight over a number of years.

Rather than continue to stoke the Hanson-fanned flames by reporting those comments, we'll close the loop by letting you know she now has been sacked by the network involved. Her position in the Australian parliament is unaffected.

Meanwhile, on the facts front, deputy chief medical officer Professor Michael Kiddannounced 140 new confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia today.

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan probably put it most eloquently when he said: "There is no doubt about it - as a nation we are entering a new and dangerous phase of this pandemic."

Victoria accounts for 127 of those, there are another three in Western Australia, and 10 in NSW. The latter two are all returned travellers.

Thirty-four people are in hospital across the country with COVID-19 and five of those are in intensive care units.

While it's all relative, only yesterday authorities in north-western Spain ordered the lockdown of a county with a population of 71,000 amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak.

That decision came just one day after regional authorities in northeast Catalonia locked down an area with more than 200,000 people.

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