New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a first in 100 years, Australia will shut state borders between its two most populous states from Tuesday amid a spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the city of Melbourne.

Officials on Monday announced that the border between Victoria and New South Wales will be closed for an indefinite period. It was last during the outbreak of Spanish flu in the year 1919 that the border between the two states was blocked by the officials.

"It is the smart call, the right call at this time, given the significant challenges we face in containing this virus," Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters in Melbourne, as reported by the news agency Reuters.

Australia’s capital city, Melbourne marked its biggest single-day spike with a record of 127 new coronavirus infections reported overnight since the pandemic began. The COVID-19 cases in the Victorian capital have surged in recent days, prompting authorities to enforce strict social-distancing orders in 30 suburbs and put nine public housing towers into complete lockdown.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the closure of border effective from 11.59 p.m. local time on Tuesday and also stated that there was no timetable for reopening the border, which will be patrolled by the military to prevent illegal crossings.

The move will, however, is likely to be a blow to Australia's economic recovery as it heads into its first recession in nearly three decades.

However, it is reported that alongside the state line, some businesses straddle both sides and several workers, and school children, commute daily.

Over the past week, Australia has reported an average of 109 cases on a daily bases as compared with an average of just 9 cases daily during the first week of June. According to a report by Reuters, Locals in Melbourne are concerned that renewed social distancing measures have not been implemented uniformly across the city. 

Reports suggest that although Australia has performed better than many countries in the coronavirus pandemic, with just short of 8,500 cases so far, the outbreak in the city of Melbourne has raised alarm bells.

Posted By: Simran Babbar