FILE PHOTO: A lonely man wearing a protective face mask sits in the unusually quiet State Library on the first day of lockdown, as the state of Victoria looks to prevent the spread of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Melbourne, Australia Is. July 16, 2021. Reuters/Sandra Sanders
September 10, 2021
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s Victoria state reported its biggest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases this year, a majority in Melbourne, as most other regions in the state went into lockdown on Friday.
Officials have announced plans to bring Melbourne and Sydney out of extended lockdowns in the coming weeks, despite a spike in infections in the country’s two largest cities.
The change in strategy to stick with, rather than suppress, the virus after hitting national vaccine coverage of 70-80% is part of a four-stage national reopening plan unveiled by the federal government in July. The national vaccination rate for adults is currently around 40%.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews, whose state reported 334 new locally acquired cases and one death on Friday, has said lockdown restrictions in Melbourne will not be eased until 70% of the adult population is at least A vaccine dose is not available, which is expected around September. 23.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Thursday that Sydney businesses could reopen-2021-09-08 once 70% of the state’s adult population is fully vaccinated, with a view to reaching mid-October. aims at.
Berejiklian on Friday denied going against the advice of state health officials who, according to local media reports, wanted to ease restrictions only if vaccination levels are above 80%.
“Throughout this journey it has always been balancing health risks with mental health and the ability to move independently and live with COVID,” Berejiklian told Nine News. “We are definitely in a transition phase and it’s going to be challenging.”
Australia’s capital Canberra has also been subjected to lockdown measures due to the Delta variant outbreak, but most other cities largely enjoy a COVID-free life.
Australia’s total number of infections stands at 68,400, including 1,067 deaths.
(Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Jane Wardell)