30 Jul 2021 - 05:32:28
|Covid in Sydney: Military deployed to help enforce lockdown
Australia has deployed hundreds of slotxo soldiers to Sydney to help enforce an extended Covid lockdown.
A Delta outbreak which began in June has produced nearly 3,000 infections and led to nine deaths.
Despite five weeks of lockdown, infections in the nation's largest city continue to spread. Officials recorded 170
new cases on Friday.
But many have questioned whether the military intervention is necessary, calling it heavy-handed.
The lockdown - in place until at least 28 August - bars people from leaving their home except for essential exercise,
shopping, caregiving and other reasons.
Australian Defence Force soldiers will join police in virus hotspots to ensure people are following the rules,
which include a 10km (6.2 miles) travel limit.
State Police Minister David Elliott 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 virus is mainly spreading through permitted movement.
Civil rights groups called the new measures a "concerning use of our armed forces" in a liberal democracy.
The outbreak has largely affected critical workers and large family groups in the city's poorer and ethnically diverse
west and south-west suburbs.
Critics say those areas have already faced "targeted" policing measures. They point out restrictions there are
harsher than for the rest of Sydney.