The Australian Prime Minister announced that 300,000 doses of coronavirus vaccine will be moved to Sydney on Thursday as the country’s largest city struggled to control a Delta outbreak.
When a citywide closure entered its third week, there were signs of the outbreak in a spiral, with a record increase of 38 new cases in the last 24 hours.
Scott Morrison said the situation at city it was “very serious” and urged five million Sydneysiders not to give in to fatigue and obey orders to stay home.
The outbreak has reached almost 400 cases and is spreading rapidly through the largely unvaccinated city, endangering Australia’s zero COVID status.
“We’ve come this far in the last 18 months, and now is the time to keep moving forward. Now is not the time to give in to this frustration,” Morrison told the Sydney press.
Police announced they would step up patrols in the southwest of the city to enforce blockade rules as cases increase.
Despite several outbreaks, Australia has managed to prevent the worst of the pandemic through instant blockages, intensive contact tracking and effective closure of its borders to the rest of the world.
After a senior New South Wales health official suggested it could be impossible to control the outbreak, regional leaders threatened to cut Sydney from the rest of the country.
The Prime Minister of Western Australia has pledged to extend the ban indefinitely to travelers in and around New South Wales “if they do not control it”.
“I think a statement of bleeding is obvious,” Mark McGowan said.
Inter-state travel bans have become commonplace in Australia, but the threat of closing borders until vaccines are deployed was a marked escalation.
About eight per cent of Australians have been fully vaccinated (one of the lowest rates among wealthy nations) and widespread vaccination is not expected until the end of 2021.
The president of the Australian Medical Association, Omar Khorshid, insisted that “there was no alternative to elimination” and said perhaps stricter restrictions would be needed to stop the spread of the community.
“Nowhere in the world has any community been able to coexist with Delta without very significant vaccination levels, we are simply not prepared to live with this Delta strain,” Khorshid said.
Since the pandemic began, Australia has detected just over 30,800 cases of the virus and reported 910 deaths.
© 2021 AFP
Citation: Vaccines headed to Sydney as outbreak spirals (2021, July 8) recovered on July 8, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-vaccines-sydney-outbreak-spirals .html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair treatment for the purposes of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. Content is provided for informational purposes only.