Melbourne becomes world’s longest-confined city

Sydney, Australia, Oct 4 (EFE).- Melbourne became Monday the city in the world to have spent the most days under strict confinement at 246 days, divided into six periods, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic’s different outbreaks in Australia, a country with a strict policy to stop the virus.

When Melbourne marked 245 quarantine days Sunday, the city surpassed Buenos Aires, with a total of 244 days of isolation during two different periods (between March-November and nine days in May), as the city that accumulated the most days under quarantine, public broadcaster ABC said.

The city of about 5 million people, the second most populated in the country, expects to start deconfining at the end of October after measures implemented since Aug. 5, once 70 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

However, new cases in the state of Victoria, whose capital is Melbourne, continues to rise and in the last 24 hours registered 1,377 infected and 4 new deaths.

Regional Governor Daniel Andrews said Thursday there was a possibility of delaying the reopening if local infections persist.

The harsh measures have sporadically run into some large protests by anti-vaccine groups, which at times has ended with riots against police.

Between June and October 2020, Melbourne, the epicenter of the second wave, registered the months with the highest number of fatalities with Covid-19 in the country.

Australia, which plans to start the reopening of international borders in November after closing them in March 2020, has accumulated more than 110,000 infections since the beginning of the pandemic, including 1,334 deaths (65 percent of fatalities in the state of Victoria).

In addition to Melbourne, local authorities have also kept Sydney (since Jun. 26), its most populous city, and the Capital Territory (since mid-August) under confinement.

The nation has vaccinated more than 45 percent of the target population with the full course, while it hopes to reach 80 percent this week with at least one dose. EFE


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