The state leader of Australia’s largest city said that Sydney will enter a two-week hard lockdown. It began 6 p.m. on Saturday night. It has been enforced to decrease the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus. Already a million people were under lockdown in downtown as well as the eastern suburbs but now the entire city will go under lockdown. New South Wales (NSW) state premier Gladys Berejiklian announced that regions which surround Sydney such as Blue Mountains, Wolongong and the Central Coast will also come under the lockdown.
There have been short but hard lockdowns in several cities across Australia. These have been imposed to fight small outbreaks across the continent. However, the delta variant has been spreading quickly across Sydney with its population of five million. So, the entire city and its surroundings are under lockdown.
The government said that stay-at-home orders will be enforced till July 9 in Greater Sydney and other specified areas. Australia’s management of the COVID-19 pandemics has been one of the best in the world. This is the first lockdown in Sydney since December. There have been 112 cases of the highly infectious Delta variant and the NSW premier said that they expect the number of cases to rise.
The new infections due to the delta variant began a week ago in Bondi beach. It spread to the city center and then to the fringes. It was traced to a driver who had carried international people from the airport.
The latest outbreak of COVID-19 has brought the lack of focus on vaccinations by the federal authorities in the country. Only three percent of the Australian population is fully vaccinated. About a quarter of the population has received one dose.
Critics have argued that cities would not have to endure such lockdowns if the federal government ensures the rollout of vaccines enabling a majority of Australians to get vaccinated.
Photo: Hai Linh Truong