Half of Australia’s population wakes up confined by Covid-19

Sydney, Australia, Jul 16 (EFE).- Half of Australia’s 25 million inhabitants woke up Friday under confinement measures as a result of the covid-19 delta variant outbreak in Sydney and other areas of the country.

The southeastern state of Victoria, whose capital is Melbourne and has a population of about 6.6 million, has been the last to implement the restrictions, which began at midnight and will last at least until Tuesday.

Victorian authorities reported 10 new local infections Friday, registering 24 infections since the outbreak was detected this week.

Melbourne, the city worst hit in deaths and infected by the pandemic during the wave of mid-last year, is experiencing its fifth confinement, as a result of several cases linked to a mid-June outbreak in Sydney of the more contagious delta variant.

In New South Wales, 97 new local infections have been reported, keeping Sydney and surrounding communities, about 6 million people, under lockdown until Jul. 30.

“This figure is concerning. The number of infected people in the community continues to rise,” New South Wales Head of Government Gladys Berejiklian said.

The Sydney focus accumulates around 1,000 infections and two deaths.

Berejiklian said “the figures are not where they are wanted,” opening the possibility of taking more drastic measures in Sydney, where the population has strong restrictions on movement and is prohibited from meetings and visits, but where they can still go to large commercial stores.

The delta variant also leaked to Queensland, the third most populous state in the country, when an infection was reported Friday, accumulating three cases since a minor returned to the country from the United States, via Sydney.

Australia, which has kept its borders closed since March 2020 and whose authorities attribute the outbreaks to the leakage of the virus from quarantine centers for international travelers, has reported more than 31,500 Covid-19 cases, including 912 deaths.

Faced with the crisis caused by the delta variant, which has disrupted the normality of the country, the government is trying to accelerate its vaccination program, which has only managed to fully inoculate 10 percent of the population. EFE


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