Around 10 million Australians will be stranded once the latest order goes into effect from Tuesday evening.
“These are tough decisions,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. “We have blockages in the big cities because arrivals from overseas bring the virus here. “
“I know this is going to be difficult for a lot of families. I apologize, but I don’t want to see people end up in our hospital on ventilators. It’s the last thing you want to see. “
Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland, has recorded at least two new cases prompting the lockdown order.
Earlier on Tuesday, residents of Perth, Western Australia, woke up to a four-day instant lockdown from midnight, making it the third largest city in the country under stay-at-home ordinance so that the most contagious Delta variant spreads.
Only three positive cases have been diagnosed in Perth since the outbreak was detected, but local health officials have long taken a very cautious approach to any coronavirus cluster.
“We know the risk of COVID and we know around the world that the Delta strain is another new beast that we can’t take any chances with,” Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan said , at a press conference late Monday evening.
More than two million people living in Perth and surrounding areas join residents of Sydney, Australia’s largest city, and the northern city of Darwin, on lockdown as rules apply to Monday at midnight to Tuesday and for a minimum of four days.
IMPORTANT: Following the detection of another local case in the northern suburbs of Perth, Perth and Peel will enter a circuit breaker lockout for at least four days starting at midnight tonight. pic.twitter.com/5aR0qZ1mTF
– Mark McGowan (@MarkMcGowanMP) June 28, 2021
Under the ordinance, public events will not be allowed and residents must stay at home. But schools and daycares will remain open with mandatory masks.
The region of Peel, located south of Perth, is also included in the lockdown order.
In a series of social media posts, McGowan also said that after new cases were detected, authorities identified the areas of origin of the infections and told those there to get tested for the infection. virus and self-quarantine for 14 days.
Slow vaccine deployment
Australia has largely been successful in containing the virus clusters through effective tracing and quarantine, but is now battling outbreaks in at least four cities across the vast continent.
Under pressure from his government’s response, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that vaccines would become mandatory for those working in nursing homes and quarantine hotels, while the AstraZeneca jab will be available for people under the age of 60 who sign a compensation form.
The Conservative government has been criticized for the slow rollout of vaccines and for failing to improve the leaking hotel quarantine system, while refusing to release data on the number of fully vaccinated Australians.
Almost 7.4 million doses of vaccine have been administered to date, of which less than 5% have reportedly received both vaccines.
Morrison acknowledged growing frustrations.
“You have to hang on. We do not have the choice. The pandemic is still there, ”he said Monday evening.
Australia has recorded just over 30,000 cases and 910 deaths in a population of around 25 million since the start of the pandemic.
The largest current outbreak is in Sydney, where more than 100 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since a driver of an international flight crew was diagnosed in mid-June. Residents of the city are now subject to stay-at-home orders for two weeks.
At a press conference on Tuesday, the Premier of the State of New South Wales, Gladys Berejiklian, announced that 19 more cases had been reported on Monday evening, bringing the total number of cases since June 16 to 149 .
She also thanked the 67,000 people who were tested during the period, adding that although the numbers have been stable so far, she expected more cases to be detected and the numbers to “rebound” .
A small group linked to an outback gold mine also sent Darwin to lockdown after exhibition sites were first discovered in the town, which is home to a large indigenous population who feared to be more vulnerable to COVID-19.