The streets of Melbourne returned to the mysterious calm of blockade for the fifth time on Friday, as Australia struggled to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in its two largest cities.
More than 12 million Australians are now under orders to stay at home after Melbourne residents begin their first day of fast closure, joining Sydneysiders already at weekly restriction depths.
“Look around the city today; there is no one here. The city is asleep, “Melbourne resident Mike Cameron told AFP.
Locals can only leave their homes for a handful of reasons, including exercise and buying essential items, but many expect the restrictions to be brief.
“Hopefully it’s only five days; I think it’s very manageable, glad we’re getting there very quickly,” said Matilda Dempsey, 18, of Melbourne.
“I think Sydney left it a little late and now they’re a little bit depressed in a worse situation.”
Authorities across the country are working desperately to track down, track down and prevent cases from spreading through a largely unvaccinated population.
Melbourne on Friday recorded six cases of the virus, all related to known clusters, with the outbreak now at 24 infections.
But a growing number of venues – including a recent rugby match in Australia and France in the city – fueled fears among authorities that thousands could have been exposed to the virus.
In Sydney, the epicenter of the latest outbreak, official figures showed that the virus was not yet detected in the community, as daily cases rose again to just under 100.
“It’s a dangerous and dangerous variant, and here it is, after all, that we all need to take care of,” New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard told the media.
The closure of Sydney is expected to continue for at least another two weeks as authorities try to curb the spread of the community.
He outbreak it has now passed 1,000 cases in a month.
Australia had been widely praised for its first treatment of the pandemic and the success of the “COVID zero” strategy, achieved mainly by the country largely closing its borders to the world since March last year.
But a painfully slow vaccine release has left only 10 percent of the population protected, as many other developed nations are beginning to open up.
© 2021 AFP
Citation: Melbourne locks again as Australia shoots to curb outbreak (2021, July 16) recovered on July 16, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-melbourne-lockdown-australia-scrambles- curb.html
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