The Australian city Sydney And nearby areas today entered a two-week tight closure designed to suppress an outbreak of the corona virus Delta strain, while further outbreaks are being recorded across the country. Australian policy, like that of New Zealand, is of the complete extinction of the virus and the prevention of outbreaks. In periods when no cases are recorded, this policy allows for normal public and economic life; In times of outbreak like now, it involves the imposition of a tight closure despite a minimal number of cases.
So far, about 30 cases have been reported in the last day in the state of New South Wales where Sydney is located. Authorities are following a major outbreak that has occurred in the Bondi Coast area, which is attributed to 110 cases (including the 30 from today), which have been diagnosed in recent days.
The province’s prime minister said that given the fact that the Delta strain is more contagious, “we expect the daily number of cases to rise in the coming days.” People who are now in isolation, she said, have already caught up with others. The closure is the first imposed on residents of the Sydney area in more than six months, and includes about 5 million residents. The population was instructed to stay at home and go out only for shopping, work or exercise. The closure will be in effect at least until July 9th.
Outbreaks have also been reported elsewhere in Australia, with authorities in various countries taking steps to combat the spread of the strain, ranging from a 48-hour lockout in Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield to restrictions on mass incidents in Perth, on the other side of the continent. .
Calls to boost vaccination efforts
So far, Australia and New Zealand have pursued slow vaccine policies, in part because of the feeling that they have managed to prevent the virus from entering their territory. Now, against the backdrop of growing numbers, and due to fears that current policies will fail to prevent widespread contagion, politicians and media in the country are calling for increased vaccination efforts. Only 4.5% of the population in Australia is vaccinated against the virus (after two doses) and in New Zealand this rate stands at 8%. New Zealand has suspended free travel between it and Australia as part of the “tourism bubble” the two have been holding since April.
Other foci of outbreaks of the delta strain of the virus, which is considered more contagious by tens of percent of the English mutation that appeared last year, are also facing rising numbers of infections. In the UK, the number of newest patients is about 14,000 a day, a rate 50% higher than last week. In Portugal the number of new patients is about 1,300 cases a day and in Russia about 18,500 cases a day. As of today, Germany requires isolation from those who have returned from Russia and Portugal and has significantly restricted those who can enter from these countries.
In the UK, a rate greater than 50% of the population is vaccinated with two doses of the virus, but in Portugal the rate is 36%. It should be noted that the number of victims at the current point in time in these countries despite the significant numbers of infected is relatively low – 17 per day in the UK and 3 per day in Portugal. In Russia, however, where the Delta strain is responsible for 99% and only 13% of the population is vaccinated with the Russian vaccine, there are 530 victims daily.
The European Union’s Disease Control Agency estimates that the Delta strain will be the most dominant on the continent by the end of August. The various countries have accelerated their vaccination programs, and plan to start vaccinating children as well as recommended by the FDA and EMA in accelerated operations. Preliminary studies have shown that vaccines are successful in preventing cases of Delta corona disease in 80% -88% of cases.