TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – The Anti-Lockdown demonstration in Australia on Saturday turned violent. Officials and demonstrators clashed which left a number of people injured. According to a Reuters news agency report, Australian Police have arrested approximately 270 demonstrators. In detail, 235 people were arrested in Melbourne and 35 were arrested in Sydney.
“Six police officers needed medical attention. Some of them fell and were trampled on,” Victoria State Police said in a statement on Sunday, September 19, 2021.
In Melbourne, approximately 700 demonstrators gathered to stage a demonstration. To control the demonstration, the local police deployed 2000 personnel and closed access to the city center. At some points in the city of Melbourne, checkpoints and barricades have also been established. In addition, public transportation is shut down.
Police in Sydney did the same. They deployed anti-riot troops, traffic police, and detectives to guard and control the course of the demonstration. They don’t want there to be large gatherings and riots. As noted above, these control efforts failed.
For the record, Australia has been dealing with the Delta variant of COVID-19. Since mid-June 2021, the lockdown policy has been implemented several times to control the pandemic. Of the many cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra are the ones most affected and have been in lockdown for weeks.
The Australian government has said that the lockdown in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra will be opened if 70 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. Referring to the current pace of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign, the Australian Government has set a target estimate for October or November.
Using the lockdown strategy, the growth of new cases and deaths is relatively under control in Australia. As per this report, there are a total of 85,648 cases and 1,162 deaths due to COVID-19. Per day, the number of cases could increase to 1800 people. The challenge is to maintain this control while many people are still protesting and questioning it.
“It is disheartening to see an incident where a small minority ignore health and safety protocols not only for the police, but also for other Victorians,” Victoria Police, Australia, said in a statement.
Also read: Pandemic Worsens, Australia and New Zealand Spend Extra COVID-19 Vaccine
ISTMAN MP | REUTERS
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