Lockdown again in Australia, more areas affected by Covidtext_fields
Canberra: With Austrlian city Sydney's Covid-19 cases increasing, and spreading into adjacent states and regions, lockdown has been clamped on the country's densely populated areas with about 16 million people.
Australia which has had a relatively comfortable Covid control for weeks, has of late been witnessing outbreak in larger numbers. The state of Victoria and some regional areas in New South Wales (NSW) are the latest ones to be brought under lockdown gripping that affects both Greater Sydney and its surrounding areas, as well as parts of Queensland, reports Xinhua news agency.
The new restrictions came into effect on Thursday evening, and it brings about 60 per cent of all Australian population under lockdown restrictions.
On Friday, Victoria recorded six new locally acquired Covid-19 cases.
The latest lockdown is the sixth one in Victoria, which comes with a gap of just nine days after its previous 12-day lockdown following occurrences of cases that came from Sydney in mid-July.
As explanation for Victoria's snap decision to re-introduce lockdown, State Premier Daniel Andrews expressed helplessness and painted a picture of a bleak alternative.
"With so few in the community with one vaccination let alone two, I have no choice... If we were to wait even just a few days, there is every chance, instead of being locked down for a week and this gets away from us, we are potentially locked down until we all get vaccinated. That's months away," said Andrews.
Meanwhile, Queensland, with 11 areas in its southeast part including capital city Brisbane in a week-long lockdown, recorded 10 new local cases on Friday, all linked to a known cluster.
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles said whether the lockdown would end on Sunday as planned depends on the situation in the following days.
"It is too soon to say what will happen over the next few days and whether we will be able to ease restrictions on Sunday," he said.
"So the results so far are very, very promising. We need to continue to see low case numbers all linked, declining infectious days in the community and a high rate of testing and if we can keep that up, then we will be able to begin to ease these restrictions."
In NSW, despite the daily increase of local cases reaching 291 on Friday, a new high in the latest outbreak, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told citizens to expect increased daily case numbers in the coming days.
"I do want to foreshadow that given this high number of cases, we are likely to see this trend continue for the next few days," she said.
The state also recorded another death, a woman in her 60s, which brought the Covid fatality toll in the current outbreak to 22.
Given the recurring outbreak, increasingly authorities and medical experts alike are coming to the conclusion that Australia needs to give up on its "elimination" approach and focus on vaccinating as much of the population as possible.
According to government data, 13,270,296 vaccine doses have been administered across the nation as of Friday.
Over 240,000 of these doses were administered in the 24 hours to when the data was released.
(Based on IANS feed)