(Sydney) The current outbreak in Sydney is a “national emergency”, local authorities said on Friday, while the first Australian city to date recorded a record number of new cases.
Recognizing that a month of confinement had failed to halt the progression of the highly contagious Delta variant, the state of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, urged the federal capital to urgently dispatch vaccines and resources.
Declaring a national emergency may increase the involvement of federal authorities in this crisis.
“We have an obligation before the nation to contain the virus,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said. “The numbers are clearly not pointing in the right direction.”
State health officials “tell us that the situation in New South Wales, particularly in the southwest and western suburbs of Sydney, is considered a national emergency.”
The state of New South Wales announced on Friday that 136 new cases were identified within 24 hours, a record number since the start of this pandemic wave in June, during which 1,782 people were infected in the state.
Australia has long been praised for its good initial results in dealing with the pandemic, mainly due to strict border closures on the huge island continent.
But the current number of contamination cases complicates tracking operations. This number may seem insignificant compared to the number of coronavirus cases in other large countries. But this presents a challenge for Australia, which from the start opted for a “no cases” strategy.
Especially since the vaccination campaign is so slow – 12% of the population has been vaccinated – at a time when many developed countries are starting to think about the world next.
As the virus is ‘spreading everywhere’, half of the 25 million Australians are currently under lockdown.I Berejiklian ruled that the government should “redirect” its vaccination policy.
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