The delta type of coronavirus, the most contagious to date, has jeopardized Australia and New Zealand’s “zero infection” strategy, which has so far done well with isolation from abroad and strict restrictions.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday met with heads of state to consider reopening the country, despite an increase in infections, which in effect means Abandon the aspiration to eradicate COVID-19.
The goal is to achieve between 70 and 80% of vaccinations before the end of the year in order to ease travel restrictions and confinement, which now affects nearly half of the country, including the cities of Sydney and Melbourne.
However, there are states such as Queensland and Western Australia that are reportedly opposed to lifting restrictions prematurely, closing interstate borders or abandoning the infection eradication strategy. Australian Financial Audit.
With more than 47,000 cases and 989 deaths, Australia has been less affected than other countries in Europe or America by the pandemic. But the delta variant caused an acceleration in new cases, which topped 1,000 per day on Thursday for the first time.
A coronavirus vaccination center in Canberra, Australia, this Friday. Photo: EFE
Morrison has been insisting for several days that the priority now is Increase the rate of vaccinations and reduce hospitalization, because it is considered “highly unlikely” to reduce infection to zero.
In an interview last Sunday with ABC, he insisted that confinement was no longer a “sustainable way to combat the virus.”
So far, more than 6.8 million Australians, or 33% of those over 16 in the country, have received the full course of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Prime Minister announced on Friday that teens between the ages of 12 and 15 will be able to book a vaccination appointment from September 13.
The Governmental Expert Panel, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) concluded that the Pfizer It is “safe and effective” for that age group and recommended for inclusion in the vaccination campaign.
Vaccination is now the primary goal of the Australian government in tackling the delta variant of the coronavirus. Photo: Bloomberg
Opening in New Zealand
Ardern explained at a press conference that the national alert level will be reduced from 4 to 3, which means that Some companies may start operating If personal contacts are avoided during gatherings such as weddings and funerals, a maximum of 10 people will be allowed.
Ardern explained that the measure will apply to the entire territory of New Zealand except for Auckland, the most populous city and the epicenter of the outbreak in the country, and the border region of Northland, which can maintain complete confinement for another two weeks. .
The New Zealand government ordered a nationwide lockdown early last week after the first local infection of COVID-19 was detected in six months.
New Zealand’s prime minister begins easing measures against coronavirus. Photo: AP
Authorities recorded 70 new local cases of COVID-19 on Friday, all in Auckland, bringing the total number of cases of the latest disease to 347.
Unlike Australia, the prime minister once again defended that eliminating Covid-19 remains the “best strategy” despite realizing that the delta formula makes the pandemic to be faced differently.
New Zealand, which is one of the developed countries with slowest vaccination rate, he was recognized all over the world for him Effective management The pandemic, which was the closure of its borders and the implementation of hard and early imprisonment.
About 20 percent of its five million residents have been vaccinated according to the full schedule so far, while 3,227 cases and 26 deaths from COVID-19 have accumulated since the start of the pandemic.