Millions in Melbourne ordered into snap Covid lockdown – Times of India

Melbourne: More than five million people were ordered into a week-long lockdown on Thursday in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, as officials blamed a lethargic vaccine rollout and hotel quarantine failures for another virus outbreak.
Stay-at-home orders will come into force in Melbourne and the surrounding Victoria State from midnight for seven days, Acting State Premier James Merlino told residents, as the cluster doubled to 26 cases.
“In the last day, we have seen more evidence that we are dealing with a highly contagious strain of the virus, a type of anxiety that is going on faster than we have recorded,” said Merlino.
The discovered version is known as B1617 – which has spread widely in India.
“Circuit-breakers” are designed to allow contact tracers to move on top of cases, allowing residents to leave the home for only necessary reasons, including vaccinations.
Merlino said the sluggish vaccine rollout of the conservative federal government was partly to blame for the latest lockdown, saying it was “not where it should be”.
He said, “If more people were vaccinated, we would be facing very different circumstances than we are today. But sadly we are not.”
This is the fourth time Australia’s second-largest city has fallen into lockdown since the epidemic began, including nearly four months of stricter sanctions last year.
Thousands of people were already self-segregated in Melbourne, participating in dozens of positive cases including two separate Australian Rules football matches, a series of nightclubs and the re-enactment of a medieval battle.
In recent months, Australians have largely been enjoying some restrictions, as the country successfully spread coronovirus, but critics say a glacial vaccine rollout left the country vulnerable to outbreak from hotel quarantine facilities Have given.
According to the federal opposition Labor Party, the virus has leaked 17 times in six months, which has given the conservative government a slogan for refusing to overhaul the system.
“If we had the option of hotel quarantine for this particular type of concern, we wouldn’t have been here today,” Merlino said.
Also under pressure to fail to meet initial vaccine delivery targets – with around 3.7 million vaccination doses administered so far in a population of 25 million – the government has promised that additional batches will be sent to Victoria in the coming weeks.
Public broadcaster ABC reported that vaccines were yet to be distributed to about 30 aged care homes in the state, despite hundreds dying when the virus swept through facilities last year.
Australia has reported around 30,000 cases and fewer than 1,000 deaths from Kovid-19 – the vast majority in Victoria during last year’s disastrous second wave.

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