About 10 million people will have to confine themselves. After the inhabitants of Sydney (south-east), Darwin (north) and Perth (west), it is those of Brisbane (east) and several areas of the state of Queensland who will have to stay at home from Tuesday, June 29, in the evening, for an initial period of three days. Australia, whose response to the pandemic had been hailed, has faced an outbreak of cases in recent weeks, particularly the highly contagious Delta variant, due to loopholes in quarantine arrangements for travelers from the United States. foreign. “These are tough decisions,” said Annastacia Palaszczuk, Premier of Queensland. “There are lockdowns in big cities because the virus is coming in with arrivals from abroad.”
In addition to Brisbane, several areas of the Queensland coast and the small town of Townsville (north) are affected by this confinement. At the origin of the recent cases, a member of the hospital staff had not been vaccinated but traveled for ten days in Queensland while contagious.
Of a press conference on the night of Monday to Tuesday. On Tuesday morning, people in Perth were also banned from leaving their homes under the start of a four-day lockdown. Only three positive cases have been detected recently in the large western city, but it has long had an extremely cautious approach in the event of an outbreak. “We know the risks of Covid-19 and we know from observing the world that the Delta variant is a new creature that should not be given a chance,” Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan said at the time.
These confinements occur during the entire school holidays and risk resulting from quantities of cancellations at the tourist level. The non-affected states recommend their inhabitants not to go to those where cases have been reported. New Zealand has announced that it will only partially reopen its “bubble” for travel with Australia from July 5, only with states where no cases have been identified. While dealing with the pandemic reasonably well before, Australia faces issues of the Delta variant, which has emerged in India.
The Conservative government has been criticized for the vaccination campaign’s slowness and the failure to improve quarantine systems. Under pressure, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that vaccination would be compulsory for staff in institutions dealing with the elderly and in quarantine centers. Another embarrassing blunder, his new Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, has just been fined 200 Australian dollars (126 euros) after being spotted without a mask while paying his gas tank Monday morning.
The government has also been criticized for not making public the number of fully vaccinated Australians. Approximately 7.4 million doses have been administered. But some media report that less than 5% of the 25 million Australians have received their two injections. The most significant current epidemic focus remains that of Sydney, where 150 people have been infected since a driver working for airline crews tested positive in mid-June. The country’s largest city entered a two-week lockdown on Sunday. Since the start of the pandemic, Australia has recorded just over 30,000 cases, including 910 deaths.