Government officials in Victoria met late last night to reportedly discuss the possibility of a third lockdown.
It comes as the coronavirus outbreak cluster linked to the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn grew to 13 cases.
According to the Herald Sun, state government advisers have been asked to draw up an emergency framework of shutting down Melbourne from as early as tonight (Friday February 12).
There have been virus fragments detected in wastewater in several areas in Melbourne.
Health officials are concerned that all the cases related to the Holiday Inn outbreak could have the mutant strain of the coronavirus from the UK.
News Corp reports at least six people have been found to have the more transmissible version of Covid-19 after completing genomic testing. Results on the other cases are still pending.
The lockdown being considered for Melbourne could be similar to the one introduced in Perth after the city recorded just one case.
In that situation, the West Australian capital and two other regions were locked down for five days and people were only allowed to leave their homes for essential reasons like groceries, exercise, medical care, or supporting someone with needs.
Under that lockdown, schools, gyms and cinemas were closed and restaurants and cafes were again forced to only do takeaway.
Clinical epidemiologist Professor Nancy Baxter told Channel 9 that while a third lockdown will be painful for residents who endured the lengthy second lockdown, it would be beneficial.
"We now have four cases of community transmission from hotel quarantine workers, which is the first time we've had community transmission from hotel quarantine breach since the second wave in Victoria," she said.
"If there is a time to really get this under control, the time probably is now. It is a very tough decision and, you know, if there is not any further community spread it always looks like this was out of proportion, but I must say you can't prove prevention.
"So I think this is something that the Victorian government needs to be thinking about very hard today in terms of whether the best thing for us is to go into lockdown so we don't have a third wave in Victoria.
"If you are going to lockdown, I would lockdown now versus in a month where you are full on into the third wave."
She admits it's difficult to predict when a breach will cause a super spreader event.
Featured Image Credit: Holiday Inn