Hundreds of Thousands of Additional Vaccines to Sydney Over Delta Outbreak
The Australian government is sending 300,000 additional corona vaccines to the state of New South Wales. There, authorities are grappling with an outbreak of the contagious Delta variant in Sydney, the country’s largest city.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the situation “very serious” according to Australian media and called on residents to comply with the corona rules.
Sydney has been in lockdown since the end of June. Residents need a valid reason to leave their homes, but not everyone adheres to that. “We have problems with compliance with the rules on contacts between households,” the prime minister acknowledged. He cited birthday parties and family gatherings as examples of gatherings that are really no longer possible. “This is a critical period.”
Australia weathered the pandemic better than many other rich countries last year. The border was largely closed. Travellers who were still allowed to come had to quarantine after arrival. With such measures, it was possible to keep the death toll among corona patients below a thousand. The number of confirmed infections remained at almost 31,000, more than half less than in Luxembourg.
However, authorities have so far been unable to control the Delta outbreak in Sydney. The first infection in the metropolis came to light about three weeks ago with a limousine driver. He had transported employees of an airline. The authorities have since identified nearly 400 corona cases.
In Australia, meanwhile, about 8 percent of the population has had both doses of a corona vaccine. This is a low vaccination coverage compared to other western countries. A New South Wales minister recently compared the run on scarce vaccines to scenes from The Hunger Games series, in which children must fight to the death to survive.
The fact that New South Wales now receives an additional 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech does not mean that other areas are being cut, according to Prime Minister Morrison. According to him, these are vaccines that have only just been obtained by the government.