Australia confines capital 7 days after detecting 1 Covid-19 case

Sydney, Australia, Aug 12 (EFE).- Australia confined its capital Thursday and the surrounding communities for seven days, after detecting a case of Covid-19.

Some 430,000 residents of the Australian Capital Territory must comply with the measure that came into force Thursday afternoon, after detecting a contagion of unknown origin in Canberra, the first in 13 months.

Authorities chose to decree the measure following the health situation in New South Wales, its only border, where there’s been a rise in cases in Sydney linked to the delta variant of the virus.

“This is the most serious risk to public safety facing the (Capital) Territory since the start of the pandemic,” Andrew Barr, head of the regional government, told reporters in Canberra.

Despite the new measures, Australia’s parliament held its last session Thursday before the stoppage scheduled until Aug. 23.

“It is too early to say at this point what the next legislature will look like and whether or not it should be postponed,” Barr said.

Australia is experiencing a small Covid-19 outbreak that forced the imposition of quarantines in several regions and that together comprise half of the 25 million inhabitants of the oceanic country.

Currently, the measure remains in effect in its two most populous cities: Sydney, from Jun. 26 to Aug. 27, and Melbourne, on Aug. 5 to Aug. 19, among other small towns.

Authorities registered 345 new infections Thursday and two deaths in New South Wales, and 21 cases in Melbourne, in addition to 10 infections in Brisbane, although the latter is under isolation.

Australia has accumulated more than 37,300 local cases, including 946 deaths, since the start of the pandemic, and so far has managed to vaccinate 20 percent of the target population with the full dosage. EFE


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