Australia confines 2nd most populous state following 8 Covid-19 cases

Sydney, Australia, Aug 5 (EFE).- Australia ordered a seven-day confinement on the 6.7 million inhabitants in the state of Victoria, the second most populous in the country, after registering eight Covid-19 cases Thursday.

“There are no alternatives to confinement. If you want to wait, (covid-19) will spread,” Daniel Andrews, Victoria’s premier, said to justify the measure, imposed for the sixth time.

Authorities are investigating whether some of the cases whose origin is still unknown are linked to a possible violation of the measures established on quarantine centers for people from abroad.

Under confinement measures, residents of Victoria will only be able to leave for essential reasons such as caring for third parties, doing authorized work, going to the doctor or getting vaccinated, shopping or exercising within a radius of five kilometers from their home.

Andrews’ decision is based on the country’s strict strategy of confining the population in a localized and generally brief manner after detecting only a handful of cases, thus avoiding a further health crisis.

With the isolation measure decreed in Victoria, about two-thirds of the 25 million inhabitants of the country remain under this order.

The confinement decreed Thursday is in addition to the tax on Sydney – the most populous city – and some neighboring towns, which bring together 6 million people, since Jun. 26 and that will remain in force until Aug. 27.

New South Wales, whose capital is Sydney, reported five Covid-19 deaths Thursday, the highest death toll since the end of September 2020, as well as 262 new infections.

New South Wales authorities also ordered the confinement from Thursday afternoon and for at least a week on about 500,000 inhabitants of the Hunter region, which includes the city of Newcastle.

Meanwhile, in Queensland, where 3.8 million inhabitants are confined to Brisbane and 10 other jurisdictions in the southeast of the state as of Sunday, 16 cases of Covid-19 were registered.

Australia, which experienced its most contagious and deadly wave in mid-2020, concentrated in the city of Melbourne, has accumulated more than 35,000 cases, including 930 deaths, since the start of the pandemic.

Authorities are trying to speed up their vaccination program, which has administered the full dose to 20 percent of the population over 16 and is expected to end by Christmas, two months later than planned. EFE


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