A health worker directs people into the 15-minute waiting area after receiving their vaccinations at the Royal Exhibition Building COVID19 Vaccination Hub in Melbourne, Thursday, September 2, 2021. Most of Victoria’s tough coronavirus restrictions will remain in place until 70 per cent of eligible people have received at least one vaccine dose. (AAP Image/Daniel Pockett) NO ARCHIVING
The authorities in the region with the metropolis Melbourne reported 324 locally transmitted new infections on Thursday – more than in almost 13 months. Most recently, more than 300 cases were registered in Victoria in mid-August 2020.
The state in eastern Australia is in lockdown for the sixth time since the beginning of the pandemic. Still, authorities planned to ease restrictions in most parts of the region from Friday. For example, cafes and restaurants should be allowed to reopen under certain conditions.
Only the neighboring state of New South Wales with the metropolis of Sydney is worse than Victoria. More than 1000 new infections have been reported here for a long time.
Australia, with its around 25 million inhabitants, has pursued a zero Covid strategy for many months and tried to completely eradicate the virus with closed external borders and strict lockdowns. With the spread of the delta variant, however, several regional governments had to admit that the strategy no longer works.
There was always criticism of the vaccination campaign, which started slowly at first. Almost 40 percent of the adult population are now fully vaccinated – significantly less than in many other western countries.