Melbourne enters 200th day of lockdown, as Victoria state records highest number of Covid cases during 2nd wave
On Thursday, the Victorian government announced 57 new positive cases had been recorded in the southern state – the highest number during Melbourne’s second wave. Authorities say that 54 of them are linked to known outbreaks and 44 were in isolation. The other three are being referred to as “mystery cases.”
As part of the Victorian Department of Health’s announcement, they reported 296 active cases in the state.
Reported yesterday: 57 new local cases and no new cases acquired overseas. - 27,581 vaccine doses were administered - 49,607 test results were received More later: https://t.co/lIUrl1hf3W#COVID19Vic#COVID19VicData [1/2] pic.twitter.com/8Bqckira3x— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) August 18, 2021
Thursday marked the 200th day of six lockdowns since the pandemic started early last year.
Melbourne’s current lockdown measures include the closing of shops, restaurants, cinemas, and playgrounds, and stay-at-home restrictions, with some exceptions including leaving home to be vaccinated and exercising within five kilometers of home. The measures are set to be in place until at least September 2.
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday that “the system is working,” despite three untracked cases in Victoria and the record number of positive cases. “That’s exactly the system working as it should work. The stories that sit behind the cases are in fact more important than the numbers alone.”
But the spike in cases and strict lockdown measures have caused mixed reactions not only from citizens, but also from officials. Covid Response Commander Jeroen Weimar stressed that authorities were “exceptionally concerned” about the developing situation.
He also said that all cases in Victoria were “genomically” connected to the outbreak in south-west Sydney in the bordering state of New South Wales (NSW). Sydney has been battling an ongoing outbreak of the Delta variant since early July. They too are under strict lockdown measures, with the Australian military deployed on the streets to help police enforce restrictions.
Australia has been slow in their vaccine rollout. Only 22% of the population is fully vaccinated, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that major freedoms such as international travel will only be reintroduced after the 70% milestone.
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