Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, will take a lockdown on Sunday after a virus outbreak, while an epidemic that has paralyzed Sydney for weeks is on the rise.
Millions of people in and around Brisbane have spent just eight days under house arrest orders after more than 100 cases broke out in several school communities.
Deputy Queensland Premier Steven Miles said the region had apparently achieved “something incredible” by controlling the epidemic.
“We seem to have managed to contain the Delta outbreak in just eight days of the lockdown, just 10 days after the first case was notified,” he told reporters.
The ban on leaving the city and gatherings will remain in place for at least two weeks.
Authorities also announced a three-day lockdown for the northern city of Cairns, when a taxi driver spent 10 days infecting a community of 1.5 million people.
He is about to enter the seventh week of lockdown in Australia’s largest city, joining millions of people in Melbourne and Sydney under house orders.
The state of New South Wales recorded 262 new cases on Sunday, bringing the epidemic that began in Sydney in mid-June to more than 5,000 cases.
State Prime Minister Gladys Brejklian urged Sydney residents to prioritize supermarkets and fast food workers in a new vaccination campaign on Sunday.
“It’s a race,” he said.
Efforts to vaccinate Australia have slowed due to limited supplies and reluctance to vaccinate, with only more than 20 per cent of the population fully vaccinated.
Health officials now expect supply to increase in September, modern vaccines to arrive for the first time and Pfizer imports to increase.
Australia has managed to avoid the worst epidemic in 18 months, but Lockdown has struggled to contain the recurrence of the highly contagious Delta variant.
With a population of 25 million in the country, approximately 36,000 cases and 935 related deaths have been recorded.
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