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Coronavirus Victoria: Army goes door-to-door for hotspot testing

Coronavirus Victoria: Army goes door-to-door for hotspot testing

Hundreds of troops are descending on Victoria to doorknock COVID-19 hotspots and offer residents free testing.

On Thursday morning, Premier Daniel Andrews said residents could expect to see doorknockers “inviting them to come and get a free test, whether they be symptomatic or asymptomatic”.

Half of the residents of Broadmeadows and Keilor Downs – suburbs with the highest number of community transmission cases – will be tested over the next three days, The Guardian reported.

The Premier said the “army” of doorknockers will expand in the coming days to other hotspot suburbs of Hume, Casey, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin.

“Rather than waiting for an unsustainable number of community transmissions to become known, we are going to go out and literally door-to-door we are bringing the public health and coronavirus response to your doorstep, if you are in these worst-affected suburbs,” Andrews said.

The Victorian Government adjusted the number of Australian Defence Force personnel it requested from the Federal Government from more than 1,000 to 150 on Thursday, 9News reported.

The ADF planned to provide support in testing sites, logistics and transporting laboratory samples and travellers to hotel quarantine.

Australian Defence Minister Linda Reynolds told 3AW Radio on Thursday the troops were “well trained and well prepared to deal with all of the required health measures”.

More than 1,000 public health workers have also begun doorknocking the hotspot suburbs to raise awareness about coronavirus and government guidelines to multicultural and linguistically diverse communities.

The efforts came as the state recorded the first Australian death in a month.