Australia's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg speaks at a news conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, June 5, 2020. (Photo: Agencies)
CANBERRA - Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Monday said the state of Victoria is at "war" with COVID-19.
Frydenberg said he was devastated by the worsening coronavirus situation in Victoria as the number of cases continued to grow.
The Victorian government on Sunday evening announced a move into stage four lockdown restrictions, with a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. instituted across Melbourne and further constraints on people's movement introduced.
"Nobody wanted it to come to this, we very much feel like it's a war like situation with every Victorian on the frontline," Frydenberg, the member of parliament (MP) for Kooyong in Melbourne's eastern suburbs, told Sky News.
"Last night's news that we will be hit with stage four restrictions, curfews, school closures and more constraints on people's movement is going to hit Victorians really hard."
"We can't afford holes in our defense, and that's why everyone needs to follow these new rules."
"Just a few people can endanger many and that's the harsh reality of what we find ourselves in in Victoria."
Victoria accounted for 98 percent of Australia's new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and in the seven days to Sunday averaged 518 new cases.
Frydenberg confirmed that the stricter lockdown would exacerbate the impact of the pandemic on the Australian economy.
"This is a massive kick in the guts for Victorian businesses. We all want to get to the other side of the coronavirus, no one wanted to see the new cases increase as they have, so everyone recognizes that we must try to do everything to get this under control," he said.
"Last night's news was very tough but Victorians are tough as well and everyone is now going to try to stem the tide of new cases."