Five million Melbourne residents will leave the closure on Thursday after Australian authorities said their adherence to strict rules had “changed the course” of a coronavirus outbreak in the city.
After two weeks under house arrest orders, the toughest restrictions on Australia’s second-largest city will be lifted from 11:59 p.m. on Thursday night, after only one new case of virus on Tuesday.
“This is a good day. Everyone should be absolutely proud of what we have all achieved together,” Victorian Acting Prime Minister James Merlino said on Wednesday.
He said the collective efforts sparked the outbreak in the city, which meant more than 80 people tested positive for Kappa or Delta strains native to India.
“But we know this is not over yet, and until we have a widespread vaccine across Victoria and across our country, the virus will remain with us,” Merlino said.
Melbourne residents cannot yet travel more than 25 kilometers (16 miles) from their home or have visitors above, but they can gather in groups of up to ten people outside.
Schools, cafes and beauty salons may reopen, but gyms and nightclubs must remain closed for at least another week.
Brett Sutton, Victoria’s head of health, said there could be no unrestricted “setback” as the situation remains “reasonably unstable”.
“We need to move progressively safely, but with the minimum restrictions we know we will continue to control this,” he said.
Australia is one of the few countries in the world without endemic transmission, with 30,000 cases of COVID-19 and less than 1,000 deaths in a population of 25 million.
The border remains closed to most travelers – except those in New Zealand – and authorities are quick to impose cases.
The virus is believed to have left Australia’s temporary hotel quarantine facilities up to 18 times in six months, prompting rigorous monitoring of the system in recent weeks.
The outbreaks in Taiwan and Japan have also underscored the initial success in containing the virus it can erode quickly without a widespread vaccine.
Australia had administered about 5.2 million blows as of Monday, but only a small fraction of people are fully vaccinated.
© 2021 AFP
Citation: Australia’s second largest city to come out of two-week virus blockade (2021, June 9), retrieved June 9, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-australia- second-largest-city-exit-two- week.html
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