Sydney Australia - Sydney Australia ready to exit lockdown during concerns over faster reopening plans
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Sydney Australia

Sydney Australia ready to exit lockdown during concerns over faster reopening plans


Story by The Oregon Herald Staff
Published on October 8, 2021 7:22 AM
 
Neighbouring New Zealand, which had stayed largely virus-free for most of the pandemic until a Delta outbreak in mid-August, reported 44 new local cases, up from 29 on Thursday. Australia is fighting a third wave of infections fuelled by the Delta variant that has locked down Sydney and Melbourne, its largest cities, and capital Canberra, forcing the closure of thousands of businesses and people to remain at home.
 
SYDNEY - Medial specialists warn that reducing Covid-19 restrictions in Sydney might lend pressure on health systems and risk lives. This is happening as the country's largest city prepares for an end to more than 100 days in lockdown next week.

Stay-at-home orders are due to be lifted on Monday after New South Wales state hit a targeted 70 per cent for full vaccination of its adult population.

Authorities on Thursday bumped up permitted limits for home gatherings, weddings and funerals.

The Australian Medical Association (AMA), however, representing the country's doctors, said opening "too fast or too early" will result in avoidable deaths and the reintroduction of lockdowns.

"New South Wales must not be reckless at this critical time," AMA President Omar Khorshid said in a statement late on Thursday.

State Premier Dominic Perrottet has defended his move to bring forward the relaxation of several restrictions amid a steady fall in infections, saying the pandemic "is an economic crisis too."

Officials have a staggered plan to ease curbs in coming weeks when full inoculation hits 70 per cent, 80 per cent and 90 per cent of adults, a boost for Australia's A$2 trillion (S$1.9 trillion) economy as it tries to avoid a second recession in as many years.

Daily infections in New South Wales rose on Friday after falling for the past seven days, as first-dose inoculations in people over 16 neared 90%. A total of 646 cases were reported, the majority in state capital Sydney, up from 587 on Thursday. Eleven new deaths were registered.

State Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said genomic sequencing has uncovered a new Delta strain in eight new cases and more tests will be conducted to trace the source.

"There is no indication that this new strain presents any differences regarding transmission, vaccine effectiveness or severity," she said. Victoria, meanwhile, logged a record 1,838 new cases on Friday, the highest number of any state in the country since the pandemic began, exceeding the previous high of 1,763 set three days earlier. There were five new deaths.

Australia is fighting a third wave of infections fuelled by the Delta variant that has locked down Sydney and Melbourne, its largest cities, and capital Canberra, forcing the closure of thousands of businesses and people to remain at home.

The country's COVID-19 numbers are still far lower than many comparable countries, with some 122,500 cases and 1,405 deaths.

Neighbouring New Zealand, which had stayed largely virus-free for most of the pandemic until a Delta outbreak in mid-August, reported 44 new local cases, up from 29 on Thursday.

Sydney could be subjected to Australia's longest lockdown despite surging vaccination rates

Source

Sydney could surpass Melbourne and be subjected to Australia's longest COVID-19 lockdown, despite surging vaccination rates, an ABC analysis has found.

NSW yesterday reached a major pandemic milestone, with 70 per cent of its eligible population having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The state is on course to fully vaccinate 70 per cent of people aged 16 and over about October 18 — a figure Premier Gladys Berejiklian said would prompt several freedoms for double-jabbed citizens.

If Greater Sydney's stay-at-home orders extend until October 18, the Harbour City and its surrounds will have been locked down for 114 days, passing Melbourne's 112-day marathon last year.

While Sydney's current lockdown could surpass Melbourne's from 2020, Victorians have been subjected to significantly different conditions over the course of the pandemic.

Last month, Melbourne marked 200 days of lockdown since the pandemic began — a figure Sydney is nowhere near reaching.

Victorians have also been subjected to an extended lockdown due to a Delta outbreak and Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday conceded Melbourne was likely to be subjected to "very significant restrictions" for several weeks.

Melbourne is in the midst of its sixth lockdown, while Sydney has been subjected to only two — or three for residents of the northern beaches, who faced stay-at-home restrictions over Christmas due to a COVID-19 outbreak...