Australia's capital Canberra to enter virus lockdown

Canberra, Australia | Thu, August 12, 2021

Canberra, Australia’s capital, was placed on lockdown for seven days on Thursday after a single Covid-19 case was discovered in the city, which had previously escaped virus restrictions. Around 400,000 people in the nation’s political capital will be ordered to stay at home starting at 5:00 p.m. local time, joining millions more in Australia’s southeast.

“This is the most serious public health threat the territory has faced this year. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, in fact, “Andrew Barr, the chief minister of the Australian Capital Territory, stated.

He went on to say that the Covid-positive individual had been in the community while contagious. Authorities also urged citizens to avoid panic buying, as stores began to fill with shoppers without masks quickly after the news broke.

“There’s no need to buy in a panic. And our main message to people is to be patient, kind, and thoughtful to one another “Rachel Stephens-Smith, the capital’s health minister, said as much.

Since a statewide lockdown in the early phases of the pandemic in 2020, Canberra has not been in lockdown. Australia is failing to suppress multiple outbreaks of the highly transmissible Delta strain after months of following a “Covid zero” policy.

More than 10 million people are presently in lockdown in the country’s two largest cities, Melbourne and Sydney, as officials work to reduce the number of cases.

Late Wednesday, much of western New South Wales was also put on lockdown due to worries about a large Indigenous population that is thought to be particularly susceptible to coronavirus.

“I advise all of our Aboriginal community to please stay at home, come forward for a test if you have symptoms, and of course, be vaccinated with any available vaccine as soon as you can,” said Marianne Gale of the New South Wales Department of Health.

Since the outbreak began in mid-June, about 6,500 cases and 36 deaths have been reported in Sydney, the epicenter of the pandemic.

The city is anticipated to be under stay-at-home orders for at least nine weeks, with key hotspot suburbs facing even stricter restrictions on Thursday. Australia received international recognition for its successful coronavirus response in the early phases of the pandemic, and by late 2020, much of the country was free of restrictions.

However, the Delta form has outlasted a sluggish vaccination rollout, leaving cities and towns relying on repeated lockdowns in an attempt to eradicate the virus. In a population of 25 million people, more than 37,500 instances of Covid-19 have been reported, with 946 deaths.

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