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Australian Defence Force to Assist Victorian Virus Effort

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Defence members are expected to be sent to Melbourne to help Victorian efforts to contain a spike in COVID-19 cases that has led to Australias first death from the disease in a month.

A Victorian man in his 80s has died from coronavirus, bringing the national death tally to 103.

The state recorded another 20 new cases, bringing the number of community transmissions to 241 and more than doubling its active cases in the past week to 141.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton says Victoria is able to test 20,000 people a day for the virus as officials move to crack down on several clusters, and trace and quarantine contacts of infected people.

Health officials have begun door knocking six hotspots across Melbourne to ensure residents are sticking to government guidelines.

Australian Defence Force personnel are helping with planning issues and Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been talking regularly with Premier Daniel Andrews about a further deployment.

“We work as one single country, and when somebody needs the help, we are here to help, and they will accept and ask for what it is that they need,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said on June 24.

A spokesman for Morrison said commonwealth departments were waiting on the Victorian state control team to determine what support it requires.

Information in languages other than English will also be provided for multicultural communities in heavily affected areas.

Advocacy groups have called for a beefed-up campaign to make sure migrant communities understood the danger coronavirus posed

Community Migrant Resource Centre chief Melissa Monteiro said communications must be multi-pronged across television, radio, online, face-to-face, in newspapers and through letterbox drops.

“We communicate the message when our clients are here with us and online, but how many have access to all this?” she said.

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