Streak of small COVID-19 cluster outbreaks keep plaguing Australia
Australia’s state of Queensland recorded one locally acquired coronavirus infection on Sunday, the latest streak of small outbreaks that have been plaguing the country in recent months.
The Queensland case comes as a cluster of the highly infectious Delta variant has grown by two cases to nine in New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, prompting health officials to expand mask wearing rules.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
“We know this strain, which is becoming the dominant strain, is extremely contagious and some people are spreading it more than others, and what we want to avoid at this stage is a super spreading event,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
Australia has been highly successful in managing the spread of the coronavirus through swift border closures, social distancing rules and a high community compliance with them, reporting just over 30,300 cases and 910 COVID-19 deaths.
But the country has struggled with the vaccination rollout, and states have been plagued in recent months by small outbreaks, kept from spreading out of control through speedy contact tracing, isolation of thousands of people at a time, or snap hard lockdowns.
The state of Victoria, which battled a small outbreak of the Delta variant, which was first detected in India, earlier this month and which put five million people into a hard lockdown for two weeks, recorded no new cases on Sunday, following one infection in the previous day.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
According to government data, only about 4 percent of Australia’s adult population of 20 million have been fully vaccinated, while about 25 percent have had at least their first dose.
On Sunday, the government of Victoria state said it would invest A$5 million ($4 million) to support the manufacture of a local mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, a collaboration between Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Doherty Institute.
The vaccine is to start Phase 1 clinical trials with about 150 people in October, with results expected in the first half of 2022.
Australia has been manufacturing the AstraZeneca vaccine domestically, but national guidelines recommend that vaccine be given only to those aged 60 and older.
Australia further restricts AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine over clotting concerns
Sydney reinstates masks to contain Delta COVID-19 variant
South Korea to relax social distancing rules, allow private gatherings on July 1
Australia further restricts AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine over clotting concernsAustralia recommended that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 jab should not be given to people under 60 on Thursday, a fresh blow to the country’s glacial ... Coronavirus
Australia’s Melbourne to allow residents to leave city, despite COVID-19 outbreakAustralia’s second largest city will allow its five millions residents to travel more than 25 kms (15 miles) from home and end mandatory masks wearing ... Coronavirus
Australia’s Victoria state reports no new local COVID-19 casesAustralia’s Victoria state on Tuesday reported no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, fueling hope that movement restrictions in the state capital ... Coronavirus
Two Australian states on COVID-19 alert after infected woman’s interstate travelTwo Australian states are on COVID-19 alert after an infected woman and her husband traveled from Victoria, the epicenter of country’s latest outbreak ... Coronavirus