One Australian state has seen a massive increase in new corona infections. The government has suspicions. That doesn’t change anything about the lockdown.
Melbourne – 246. That’s not quite a year in days. Nearly. For a while, it seemed that Australia would get through the corona pandemic comparatively well. An island after all. But vaccination was slow there too. And then there was a mutation in the virus. Now the country has a sad record.
The capital of the state of Victoria, Melbourne, is now in lockdown for a total of 246 days, according to radio station ABC. The previous “record holder” was Buenos Aires.
Corona numbers rise despite lockdown: Nerves in Melbourne are bare
New corona infections have recently increased dramatically in Victoria. The region has been in a strict lockdown for almost two months – for the sixth time. Not only in the greater Melbourne area with its around five million inhabitants, the nerves of many people are therefore on edge, especially since the lockdown is supposed to last for several weeks.
The regional government believes the recent surge is mostly related to a long weekend in Victoria in September when many citizens would have met with their families and friends despite the restrictions. Regional premiere Daniel Andrews said according to dpa that the situation was “absolutely avoidable”. “We made it very clear that the numbers would go up if people didn’t follow the rules.”
After 80 percent of the population have now received at least a first dose of vaccine, the rules were slightly relaxed last week despite the many new infections. People are now allowed to move within a radius of 15 instead of the previous 10 kilometers from their place of residence. In addition, golf and other non-contact outdoor sports are again allowed.
Moving away from the zero Covid strategy: Australia is now focusing on vaccination
Australia, with its around 25 million inhabitants, had long pursued a zero Covid strategy and tried to eradicate the virus with closed external borders and extremely rigid measures. With the spread of the delta variant, however, several regional governments had to admit that the strategy no longer works. The authorities are now focusing on achieving the highest possible vaccination rate. (dpa / frs)