Five million tired Melbourne residents were back in jail on Friday, slashing local resolution and testing Australia’s “zero-COVID” strategy of stifling outbreaks no matter how small.
According to authorities, a group of positive cases had passed 39, the streets of Australia’s second city were emptied for the fourth time since the pandemic began.
“It’s very difficult,” resident Gavin Catt told AFP. “This blockage affects us. Many families and friends can’t work.”
Melbourne residents have been ordered to stay home for seven days to stop the transmission and buy time from authorities to investigate how the virus jumped again hotel quarantine in the community.
He outbreak It is believed to have started when a traveler infected with the Indian variant returned to Australia, but the acting Prime Minister of the state of Victoria, James Merlino, called for military assistance with the investigation.
About 15,000 close contacts have been identified and the list of sites visited for confirmed cases has increased to 130.
Merlino blamed Thursday for the slow deployment of vaccines and hotel quarantine failures over the latest outbreak.
“If we had an alternative to hotel quarantine for this variant that worries us, we wouldn’t be here today,” he said.
It is believed to be the 17th time in six months that the virus has come out of makeshift hotel quarantine facilities, which are now facing rigorous control.
The Conservative federal government of Australia is also pointing the finger at the slow rate of vaccinations, which threatens to reverse the country’s antivirus success.
Australia has reported 30,000 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with a large proportion in hotel quarantine, in a country of 25 million people.
But only two per cent of Australians have been vaccinated so far.
“I’m originally from New York, so I feel like we’ve had a good chance here in Australia in terms of how many people have gotten sick,” David Gonzalez said.
“So I guess I’m willing to accept a little slow deployment, but if these things happen more often, they just need to get more vaccines in the country.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended the government’s management of the crisis, saying hotel quarantine facilities were “99.99% effective”.
But critics countered that a single infection coming out of a quarantine system that has processed thousands of travelers was enough to shut down an entire state and the country’s second-largest city.
In recent months, Australians had largely enjoyed few restrictions after the country successfully contained the spread of coronavirus.
But outbreaks in Taiwan and Japan have highlighted how the initial success the virus contains can erode quickly without widespread vaccination.
Australia currently vaccinates around 75,000 people every day.
In a note to customers on Friday, the National Bank of Australia warned that it is “clear that virus outbreaks of hotel quarantine remain a significant risk to Australia until a high degree of vaccine penetration is reached. ”
“At the current rate, Australia will not reach a level of vaccination that approaches herd immunity (estimates suggest it is around 70% or more) by the end of the year.”
© 2021 AFP
Citation: Australia’s COVID success threatened as Melbourne enters closure (2021, 28 May) recovered on 28 May 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-australia-covid-success -threat-melbourne.html
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