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Australian prime minister says Covid lockdowns are 'unsustainable' plans to ease the restrictions

Australian prime minister says Covid lockdowns are unsustainable

August 24, 2021: -On Monday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the country must start easing strict Covid-19 restrictions once vaccination rates surge, with more than half of all Australians enduring weeks-long lockdowns to control delta outbreaks.

Some states have flagged they may not stick to a national plan that includes relaxing border controls, worried about an increase in cases in the country’s southeast of the country, with breaking new one-day records for infections in Sydney.

Last month, the federal government unveiled a four-stage plan to relax restrictions once 70% of its 25 million people above 16 are vaccinated, with stringent lockdowns “unlikely” to be required.

When vaccination coverage hits 80%, only “highly targeted lockdowns” would be necessary, and vaccinated Australians can travel interstate freely.

However, Western Australia and Queensland states are concerned that the plan was agreed upon before a large outbreak in New South Wales (NSW), where daily cases have reached 800 for the previous three days.

NSW reported 818 cases on Monday, most of them in Sydney, slightly lesser than the record 830 before a day.

Australia dealt with the pandemic better than many other developed countries. Still, a slow vaccine rollout has thrown Sydney and Melbourne, its significant cities, and capital Canberra into lockdowns to combat outbreaks of the delta variant.

Nationally, 30% of people above 16 are vaccinated with the second dose, while 52% have had at least one dose. Vaccinations are running at a record pace, but the target of 80% fully vaccinated will be unable to reach until December at the current rate.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state’s residents must learn to live with the virus on Monday, which urges people to get vaccinated sooner. “Once you get to 80% double dose, every state will have to live with Covid. You cannot keep delta out forever,” she said.

Australia reports more than 44,600 cases with 984 deaths, although the death rate has declined since the previous year.

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