CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s second-largest metropolis, Melbourne, went right into a sixth lockdown on Thursday, with a state authorities chief blaming the nation’s slow COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
Melbourne joins Sydney and Brisbane, Australia’s most populous and third-most populous cities respectively, in locking down because of the unfold of the extremely contagious delta variant.
Melbourne and surrounding Victoria state will lock down for seven days after eight new infections had been detected within the metropolis, Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews mentioned.
Andrews gave lower than 4 hours’ discover that the state would lock down from 8 p.m. He mentioned his authorities had no different selection as a result of solely 20 p.c of Australian adults had been absolutely vaccinated by Wednesday.
“To be really frank, we don’t have enough people that have been vaccinated and, therefore, this is the only option available to us,” Andrews mentioned. “The time will come when we have many more options. But that isn’t now.”
Andrews has accused neighboring New South Wales state of taking too lengthy to lock down Sydney after a limousine driver who grew to become contaminated whereas transporting a US aircrew from Sydney Airport examined optimistic to the delta variant on June 16.
New South Wales on Thursday reported its worst day because the Sydney lockdown started on June 26 with a file 262 new native infections and 5 deaths.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian mentioned 4 of the lifeless had not been vaccinated. One had a single dose of the two-shot AstraZeneca vaccine in late May.
Australian authorities have urged individuals in Sydney to not look forward to the optimum 12 weeks earlier than getting their second AstraZeneca dose.
“No one who has died has had both doses of vaccine. I cannot stress enough how it’s so important for everybody of all ages to come forward and get the vaccine,” Berejiklian mentioned.
AstraZeneca and Pfizer are the one vaccines obtainable in Australia.
There have been 21 COVID-19 deaths reported in Sydney because the newest outbreak started. There have been 78 deaths confirmed in New South Wales because the pandemic started.
The authorities reported 262 domestically acquired infections within the newest 24-hour interval. Another six circumstances had been recognized in resort quarantine and aren’t thought of threats to the neighborhood.
When Victoria ended its fifth lockdown final week, Andrews mentioned he believed the state was the one jurisdiction on the planet that had overwhelmed a delta outbreak twice.
Melbourne was the Australian heart of the pandemic final 12 months when new infections peaked at 725 in a day in August. Of Australia’s 925 COVID-19 reported deaths because the pandemic started, 820 have occurred in Victoria.
Authorities had been gaining confidence on Thursday that Brisbane and surrounding cities in Queensland state will finish an eight-day lockdown as deliberate on Sunday.
Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young mentioned efforts to suppress the unfold had surpassed expectations.
All 16 new domestically acquired circumstances reported on Thursday have been instantly linked to identified publicity websites.
But doubts are rising that Sydney’s lockdown will finish as deliberate on Aug. 28 as case numbers proceed to develop.