Australian capital Canberra enters into seven-day lockdown

Aneela SiddiquiWeb Editor

12th Aug, 2021. 04:00 pm

SYDNEY:   Canberra, Australia’s capital, was placed under lockdown for seven days on Thursday after a single Covid-19 case was discovered in the city, which had previously avoided virus restrictions.

Around 400,000 people in the Australian 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 risk that we are faced in the territory this year. Really, since the beginning of the pandemic,” Australian Capital Territory chief minister Andrew Barr said.

He went on to say that the Covid-positive person had been in the public while infectious. Since a countrywide lockdown in the early phases of the pandemic in 2020, Canberra has not been in lockdown. Australia is trying to manage numerous outbreaks of the highly transmissible Delta variant after months of adopting a “Covid zero” approach.

More than 10 million people of Melbourne and Sydney are currently in lockdown, while officials strive to decrease 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 more vulnerable to coronavirus.

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

In Sydney, since the pandemic began, almost 6,500 cases and 36 deaths have been reported in mid-June. The city is set to be under stay-at-home orders for at least nine weeks, with certain hotspot areas facing even stricter restrictions on Thursday.

Australia was lauded across the world for its quick and effective coronavirus response in the early phases of the epidemic, and most of the country was enjoying few restrictions by late 2020.

However, the Delta variant has slowed down the vaccination process, leaving cities and towns rely on repeated lockdowns in an attempt to eradicate the virus. In a population of 25 million people, more than 37,500 cases of Covid-19 have been reported, with 946 fatalities.



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