Due to the rapidly spreading outbreak of Delta Disease, Australian officials on Saturday imposed strict two-week lockdowns for all of Sydney and the regions surrounding the country’s largest city.
Sydney’s first complete lockdown since early 2020 reflects a sudden rise in concern among New South Wales officials who hoped that contact tracing and targeted isolation would be sufficient to keep the more contagious option under control.
Instead, after initially resisting complete isolationOfficials said on Saturday that strict citywide bans on staying at home are needed because they found several additional chains of transmission throughout the city among people who have been infectious for several days.
State Prime Minister Gladys Berezhiklyan said the virus is simply spreading too quickly among the population. Over the past 10 days, the cluster, which began with a limousine driver at the airport of Sydney, a city of five million, has jumped to nearly 100 cases, with dozens more expected in the coming days.
“We do not want to place a burden unless absolutely necessary,” Ms Berezhiklyan said at a press conference on Saturday. “Unfortunately we have to.”
She said shorter isolation would not be enough to regain control of transmission, describing the Delta variant as spreading much faster than other strains of the coronavirus.
“If you are not one step ahead of this virus, it can very easily spiral out of control,” she said.
Starting at 6:00 pm on Saturday, people across the Sydney metropolitan area will be allowed to leave their homes only to exercise, seek medical attention, care for loved ones, buy food, or do other important things. The isolation is due to end on July 9, but may be extended.
Australia is one of the many countries in the Asia-Pacific region, continue to fight the twists and turns of the coronaviruslargely due to new options and slow roll-out of vaccines, which have been in short supply outside the United States, Europe and China.
Health officials have requested additional doses from the Australian federal government, and demand for vaccines has skyrocketed after months of complacency. But most people in Sydney remain unvaccinatedand nationwide, less than a quarter of Australians received at least one dose. New York Times data…
Of particular concern in Sydney is a hairdresser that visited 900 clients while at least a few employees were contagious, and a seafood wholesaler tested positive after a few days of transporting fish around town.