How a new coronavirus cluster is threatening Melbourne's path out of lockdown

The success of Melbourne's ongoing lockdown could be at risk with a new cluster emerging in the southeast of the city, testing the capacity of COVID-detectives.

There are currently 101 active coronavirus cases in the Casey and Dandenong area with 34 infections linked to five households in the Afghan community.

As residents in the city are still under strict Stage Four lockdown which restricts families travelling more than 5km from their homes to visit other households, it's thought the infected group may have breached the stay-at-home orders.

Health authorities are now scrambling to track and trace the new surge in cases and the Victorian government has even began a new recruitment drive that will see retired officers re-enlisted to bolster the state's frontline virus efforts. 

There are currently 101 active coronavirus cases in the Casey and Dandenong area with 34 infections linked to five households

There are currently 101 active coronavirus cases in the Casey and Dandenong area with 34 infections linked to five households

The Victorian government has even began a new recruitment drive that will see retired officers re-enlisted to bolster the state's frontline virus efforts

The Victorian government has even began a new recruitment drive that will see retired officers re-enlisted to bolster the state's frontline virus efforts

'Members of those households visiting other households,' Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 testing commander Jeroen Weimar said.

'It is that limited amount of contact, relatively infrequent contact between these five households that has now meant that we have 34 people in five houses experiencing or living with a very real threat of the coronavirus.'

The cluster, which has impacted the five households in Hallam, Clyde, Narre Warren South and Cranbourne North, first emerged on September 4. 

Cases in the southeast have now spread to Dandenong Police Station and a number of industrial work sites.

Premier Daniel Andrews on Friday said the actions of the family's involved in the cluster is 'disappointing'. 

The cluster which has impacted the five households in Hallam, Clyde, Narre Warren South and Cranbourne North, first emerged on September 4

The cluster which has impacted the five households in Hallam, Clyde, Narre Warren South and Cranbourne North, first emerged on September 4

'Five kilometres is one thing and visiting others is the real issue here.' he said. 

'The rules are in place for a reason and anyone who undermines this, undermines the entire strategy and it means the rules will be on for longer.' 

But the Victorian leader ruled out fines for the group, telling reporters it may discourage others from being completely honest with contact tracers. 

'I know many Victorians, when you see examples of people not following the rules, that's disappointing, it makes you angry,' Mr Andrews said.

'You need to look at the bigger picture here.

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