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COVID-19 Update: Mandurah left an eerie ghost town amid Coronavirus crisis

Mandurah has become a ghost town at the weekend as the city stays home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Weekends in the city’s CBD are usually filled with good times and vibes as locals and visitors head to pubs, restaurants, and venues but lately – it’s not the case. 

It comes after the Federal Government put tight restrictions in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus amid the global pandemic. 

As of Saturday, April 4, the City of Mandurah was one of WA’s hotspots for confirmed cases, with 24 residents in the area with the virus. 

City of Mandurah Mayor Rhys Williams told holidaymakers planning on coming to the region over the Easter period to stay home. 

“Not something I’d ever imagined saying as Mayor, but necessary at the moment,” he posted to social media. 

“Please let your friends and family know that we would love to welcome them down to Mandurah in a few months time to enjoy all the great things about this place, but for now, we’d appreciate it if they stayed home and helped us to keep our grandparents safe and health.” 

Member for Dawesville and shadow health minister Zak Kirkup announced on social media that a COVID-19 testing clinic will be established in the region. 

“Heeding my calls, the Minister announced that a COVID clinic would be established at Halls Head shortly,” Mr Kirkup said. 

“Testing criteria will be broadened to anyone with a fever above 38’c and acute respiratory illnesses. 

“You no longer need to have a travel history in order to be tested.” 

Further north, Rockingham recorded 15 confirmed cases for the same period, and inland, the Serpentine-Jarrahdale region has had four cases. 

The city’s of Stirling, Joondalup and Wanneroo have the highest cases, with more than 30 residents infected with Coronavirus. 

WA has a total of 436 confirmed cases, which include several of those from cruise ships and three fatalities. 

The premier said the WA ship crisis had been one the biggest headaches of his life. 

More than 29 Artania cruise ship passengers, docked in Fremantle, tested positive for COVID-19.

Foreign nationals with the virus were transported, by police guarded TransPerth busses, to WA hospitals while healthy passengers were transported to Perth Airport to depart the country on several charter flights. 

On Wednesday, a remaining 12 passengers, understood to be not fit for travel, were transported by bus to the Novotel Hotel on Murray Street in Perth’s CBD for quarantine.

On Saturday, WA shadow health minister confirmed 26 crew were in isolation at a Perth City hotel while four more were taken to hospital.

“[The] vessel has had a ‘deep clean’ and is now in lock down,” shadow health minister Zak Kirkup said.

The rest of the ships’ crew of more than 400 remain on the vessel docked at the Fremantle port.

The WA government asked the ship to leave but from Saturday, it has been required to undertake a 14-day quarantine order.

Western Australians on the Vasco da Gama cruise ship were transported to Rottnest Island for quarantine after the tourist hotspot was cleared by authorities.

Remaining Australians of the Vasco da Gama were put in WA hotels for two weeks of quarantine.

Across Australia, there are 5,364 cases of COVID-19, including 26 deaths. 

World Wide there’s been 972,303 confirmed cases, including 50,322 deaths. 

Compared to the global SARS outbreak, which killed 774 people and infected 8,098 between November 2002 and July 2003, COVID-19 has killed more than three times that in as little as eight weeks, according to the Business Insider Australia. 

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, the government has put in tight restrictions including the closure of pubs and gyms, enforcing harsh fines for rule-breakers, and even deploying the Australian Defence Force. 

Road checkpoint Forrest Highway. Photo: WA Police.

The premier of WA Mark McGowan put in hard border closures to stop the spread and protect venerable communities. 

“We will be turning WA into an island, within an island,” the premier said. 

Several border closures were put in place on Monday night with WA Police, the Army, and the State Emergency Service operating checkpoints across the regions. 

Several drivers have turned around for not having a good enough reason to be able to pass through. 

Drivers can only pass the checkpoints if they have a valid reason to do so, which includes for work purposes. 

WA Police also launched aerial surveillance last week with the use of drones to monitor social distancing. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has provided regular updates over the weeks, enforcing new restrictions as the situation develops. 

Mr Morrison enforced strict travel regulations, the closure of pubs, gyms, nightclubs, and restaurants, limited social gatherings, and mandatory quarantine for travelers as he urged Australians to stay at home. 

Social gatherings were limited to two people, funerals limited to 10 and weddings limited five, with playgrounds closed and schools moved to online learning systems. 

Anyone traveling to Australia or interstate will require a mandatory two-week quarantine period in a hotel. 

COVID-19 MAP. Photo: WA Health.

The WA Health Department released a COVID-19 map with frequent updates of cases which you can view here.

Tex Reeks

Texas (Tex) Reeks is a video journalist and national award-winning news photographer. Reeks' dedication and commitment to local news media and telling stories has seen him build an extensive portfolio in Western Australia's news industry from a young age. Writing online stories and covering news events for Perth's mainstream media networks, Reeks, has covered and broken some of WA's biggest breaking news stories including shark attacks, police manhunts, plane crashes, major crime investigations, and major political incidents. Reek's interest and knowledge in criminology and policing results in his focus on crime and court stories.
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