Melbourne orders non-vital businesses shut to curb virus Aug 04, 2020 0 523 12345 AFPMelbourneNon-essential businesses in Australia’s second-biggest city of Melbourne were ordered Monday to close for six weeks as officials struggle to control a growing coronavirus outbreak.Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews said most retail outlets in Melbourne would have to shut from midnight Wednesday into Thursday, with exemptions for supermarkets, pharmacies and liquor stores.The measures are the most restrictive Australia has seen since the epidemic began and came on top of mandatory mask-wearing, stay-at-home orders and a night-time curfew in the city.The closures are aimed at helping ensure an estimated one million fewer people are moving around the region for work, as hundreds of coronavirus cases continue to be recorded daily despite a lockdown that began in early July.“As heartbreaking as it is to close down places of employment... that is what we have to do in order to stop the spread of this wildly infectious virus,” Andrews told a press conference.“This six-week period is absolutely critical.”Other sectors -- such as meat production and construction -- will be required to scale down significantly from Friday.Andrew urged people not to panic buy.“I can’t guarantee that every single product at exactly the volumes you would like to buy will be there, but there will be enough for people to get what they need.”An overnight curfew was imposed Sunday and people banned from moving more than five kilometres from home.Melbourne residents must also stay at home from 8 pm to 5 am until at least September 13. Only those carrying out essential work, or seeking or providing care, are allowed out.Those caught breaking the rules can be slapped with a fine of Aus$1,652 ($1,177) from police who are patrolling the city’s streets, though Andrews said “significant boosts” to penalties would be announced Tuesday.The radical new restrictions set Melbourne apart from the rest of Australia, where most regions have significantly relaxed restrictions as just handfuls of new cases are reported daily.Victoria state now has almost 6,500 active coronavirus cases, recording 429 new cases and 13 deaths from the virus Monday.In Melbourne, weddings have also been banned, in-person religious services cancelled and students are poised to return to online lessons.“It’s hard, especially knowing that in other parts of the country people are quite free to go around and (enjoy) almost normal life,” cafe manager Tracy Skilling told AFP.Australia’s total reported infections topped 18,000 on Monday, with 221 deaths, from a population of 25 million. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Lebanon foreign minister resigns in protest at crisis management Aug 04, 2020 0 511 Dozens killed in Islamic State raid on Afghan prison Aug 04, 2020 0 523 Israeli jets strike Hamas targets in Gaza: Military Aug 04, 2020 0 1445 Landslides kill eight as Nepal monsoon death toll climbs to 193 Kathmandu Landslides caused by monsoon rain on Monday killed at least eight construction workers in central Nepal, officials said. Bhagawati Nepal, deputy mayor of the affected Melamchi municipality, a small town .. Indian restaurant offers ‘COVID curry’ to scared customers Jodhpur An Indian restaurant is hoping to win back customers afraid of eating out during the pandemic with a special “COVID Curry” and “Mask Naans”. “This has been a really tough time for us and for our entire sector,” Yash .. Five dead in Mogadishu suicide bombing, police say DPA Mogadishu At least five people, including the bomber, died in an attack on a popular restaurant in Mogadishu on Monday, police official Ali Hassan Kulmiye told dpa on Monday. The targeted restaurant is frequented by .. Adviser to Lebanese president appointed as foreign minister Beirut Lebanese President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Hassan Diab appointed a new foreign minister on Monday, hours after Nassif Hitti submitted his resignation. In a official decree after talks with Diab, Aoun .. Philippines’ new military chief wants to regulate social media use DPA Manila The Philippines’ new military chief on Monday called for social media use to be regulated, in a bid to prevent terrorists from using the platforms to recruit members and plan attacks. Lieutenant General .. AU mediates Ethiopia dam talks Cairo The African Union mediated a round of talks Monday between ministers from Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on Addis Ababa’s controversial Nile dam project, an Egyptian ministry said. The irrigation ministry said ..