Police detaining an anti-lockdown protester at Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market during a rally yesterday.PHOTO: AFP

More than 70 arrested in Melbourne coronavirus protests

Up to 250 involved, with scuffles breaking out and some of them throwing fruit at police officers

MELBOURNE: Police in Australia's Victoria state arrested 74 people and fined 176 for breaching public health orders as scattered protests against a weeks-long coronavirus lockdown continued for a second straight day across Melbourne.

A riot squad marched through the stalls at the city's landmark, the Queen Victoria market, before the scuffling with protesters erupted, with some people throwing fruit at the police, television footage showed.

Victoria Police said there were between 200 and 250 people involved in the protests. There were no immediately known injuries to the police.

"It was extremely disappointing to see people not just protesting but putting the lives of other Victorians at risk despite all the warnings," the police said.

The protests came after 14 people were arrested at small dispersed rallies on Saturday and as Victoria is set to ease its lockdown restrictions slightly today, with the number of cases continuing to fall.

Yesterday, there were 41 new cases in the state and seven more deaths, showing a steady downward trend from a peak of more than 700 cases a day in early August.


In Indonesia, Jakarta authorities said they will implement a mandatory isolation policy, where anyone infected will be isolated at designated locations, such as government facilities or hotels, starting today.

Currently, those infected but with light symptoms are allowed to self-isolate at home.

"If the confirmed positive person refuses the isolation, they will be picked up by health and law enforcement officers," Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said.

The Indonesian capital will reinstate curbs today to stem a jump in infections.

Employees of non-essential businesses have to work from home. Markets and shopping centres can open at half capacity, and restaurants within shopping centres will be allowed to offer take-outs only, the Governor said.

Indonesia yesterday reported 3,636 infections, taking its total to 218,382. There were 73 deaths, raising the total to 8,723.

The Philippines yesterday recorded 3,372 cases and 79 more deaths.

Total cases rose to 261,216 while its death toll climbed to 4,371.

Malaysia recorded 47 cases yesterday. This brings its total to 9,915 while the death toll remains at 128. - REUTERS, THE STAR