National

Testing almost done at Melbourne towers

By AAP Newswire

Coronavirus testing at Melbourne's nine locked-down public housing towers is expected to wrap up soon while residents wait on results.

About 3000 occupants of the Flemington and North Melbourne towers have been in a "hard lockdown" since Saturday afternoon, unable to leave their apartments due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Only two new cases were linked to the outbreak on Wednesday, while four old cases were reclassified, taking the total infection number to 75.

The health department hasn't released the number of cases in each of the nine towers.

The lockdown order is in place for 14 days but Premier Daniel Andrews is "very confident" testing of all residents would be finished by Wednesday.

"I again say to every single resident in those towers you will be under these restrictions for not a moment longer than you need to be," he said.

It's hoped the lockdown will be scaled back once a "detailed plan" is made to reduce transmission of coronavirus among residents.

"We haven't got to that point yet," Mr Andrews said.

"We need to have a complete picture across those towers, given that there are real communities of interest."

Father of five Abdiraham Ibrahim has been waiting since Monday for his coronavirus test result, despite his wife's already coming back negative.

"Some other people are waiting four days for the results," he told AAP.

Yet public housing tests have been given "dedicated lab capacity".

"We have a laboratory that's only doing that work," Mr Andrews said.

"These are specific arrangements for those towers. They'll be done - the processing, as quickly as possible, and that's a recognition that they're under a different set of rules, a harder set of rules, than anybody else."

Residents' mail is being left on the ground outside the Racecourse Road building for people to collect.

Health authorities have previously described the high-density towers, which share lifts, corridors, rubbish and laundry facilities, as "vertical cruise ships" with "explosive potential" to spread COVID-19.

Two people were taken by ambulance to the makeshift hospital at Melbourne Showgrounds about 10.30am on Wednesday for treatment.

When the hard lockdown ends, the residents will enter the newly announced six-week, stage three lockdown for the rest of the city.

It will mean they can leave their homes to get food and supplies, receive or provide care, exercise, and study or work.

Since lockdown, residents have relied on food and supply deliveries from the state government. Some of which was expired, insufficient or culturally inappropriate, such as pork given to Muslims.

Meanwhile, a 28-year-old Altona North man was arrested outside one of the Flemington towers about 9.50pm on Tuesday after allegedly becoming verbally aggressive towards police.

Police believe the man got out of a car in Holland Court before joining another man confronting some officers. Investigations are ongoing.

Social media videos recorded by witnesses who were delivering food at the time, show him being arrested as tensions escalate and he is heard screaming "I can't breathe".

The City of Melbourne has also created its own pandemic plans for public housing towers in Carlton and Kensington.