Australia extends lockdowns to reach 70% 1st Covid-19 jab rate

Sydney, Australia, Sep 1 (EFE).- Australia announced Wednesday they would maintain the confinement of the almost 6.7 million inhabitants of the state of Victoria, the second most populous in the country, until the first Covid-19 vaccine is administered to 70 percent of its adult population.

This announcement follows the line of a national reopening plan in phases based on the vaccination of the more than 25 million inhabitants of Australia, a country that has opted for harsh confinements to deal with the virus and is now facing a third wave which originated in mid-June in Sydney.

The extension of the confinement decreed in Victoria four weeks ago responds to the persistence of local infections in this jurisdiction, which reported 120 community cases and two deaths Wednesday, registering more than 1,000 since the beginning of this outbreak in Melbourne.

“We have gone with everything, but now we are clear that we are not going to lower these figures but they are going to increase,” said Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews at a press conference in Melbourne concerning the extension of almost all measures related to the strict confinement.

Andrews said that once the vaccination goal is reached in Victoria, probably by Sep. 23, measures referring to displacements or limits to the number of construction workers, among others, will be relaxed.

The government of neighboring New South Wales, plans to administer the entire course to 70 percent of the adult population of its almost 8.2 million inhabitants by mid-October.

New South Wales, the most populous state in Australia, which has been confined since the Sydney outbreak in mid-2021, today registered 1,116 local infections and four deaths, accumulating about 18,000 cases since.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at a press conference in Sydney that “it is impossible to eliminate the delta variant.”

The rest of the country is practically living normally, with the exception of the Australian Capital Territory, which includes Canberra, which extended its confinement Tuesday for two more weeks.

Australia has registered more than 54,000 Covid-19 cases and more than 1,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, has administered the complete vaccine dosage to 35 percent of its adult population. EFE


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