Covid19 : Half of Australia in lockdown again as cases increase
Anger is growing in Australia as 13 million people about half the population – endure fresh lockdowns to quash Covid outbreaks. A third state went into lockdown on Tuesday. Stay-at-home orders are now in place in South Australia, Victoria and parts of New South Wales. Many people have expressed frustration at being back in highly policed lockdowns 18 months into the pandemic. And re-openings in the UK and the US have put pressure on the government.
New South Wales state, home to the country’s most populous city Sydney, logged 110 new cases, up from 78 the day before, nearly four weeks into a lockdown of the city and surrounding areas to contain an outbreak of the virulent Delta variant.
Victoria state clocked 22 new cases, from nine the day before, its biggest increase since the outbreak began this month, even as it nears its second week of statewide lockdown.
Health leaders have said their greatest concern is the number of people active in the community before receiving their coronavirus diagnosis, and that the number should be near zero before lifting lockdown.
Australia’s vaccine roll-out has been marred by hesitancy and supply issues. Just above 11% of the population has been fully vaccinated. Many are reluctant to take AstraZeneca’s vaccine over a rare clotting risk, while there are limited supplies of Pfizer vaccine. “We have done as much as is humanly possible but the issue is we need more vaccines,” said NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.