People in mandatory self-isolation due to coronavirus with no access to food and essentials will receive emergency relief packages of food and personal care items to last them for two weeks under a new state government program.
Victoria has recorded 279 cases of COVID-19, after 49 new cases were confirmed by deputy chief health officer Dr Annaliese van Diemen on Sunday.
There are a number of people in hospital and are least three in intensive case.
The program will support those in mandatory self-isolation with have no network of family and friends to support them with access to food and other essentials.
Eligible households will receive a two-week supply of essential goods with good packages including items such as long-life milk, pasta, cereal, canned vegetables and sugar. Personal care packages will also be available including soap, toothpaste and deodorant, with additional items such as nappies or baby formula available for families in need.
The packages will be delivered to families, with other distribution points to be established if needed. People who are not eligible for the emergency relief packages have been encouraged to be self-reliant and ask family and friends for help where possible.
Anyone who has returned home from overseas from midnight on March 15, or has been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus, must self-isolate for 14 days.
The program, to be run through the Red Cross in partnership with Foodbank Victoria under the direction of the State Relief Coordinator, will start from Monday.
"We need to look out for each other over the next few months - but for people who have no one nearby to support them, we'll make sure they get what they need," said minister for disability, ageing and carers Luke Donnellan.
"There is plenty of food for all Victorians so please don't take more than you need. But if you do find yourself isolated, and can't access the basics, we have emergency relief packages for you."
People who need to access the relief packages need to call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
"As you saw during the bushfire crisis, Foodbank Victoria is well-placed to assist all vulnerable Victorians. At this time, when everyone's feeling anxious and uncertain our message is - in partnership with the Government - we're here to protect and support you, as we've been doing for the past 90 years," said Foodbank Victoria chief executive David McNamara.
To help get more stock to supermarkets, the government has also removed curfew restrictions on trucks, and time limits on delivery vehicles parked in loading zones while they are dropping off or picking up goods.
For more information about the support services call the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 or visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
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