Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, apologized on Thursday for the slow vaccination program for the coronavirus. The state of New South Wales, where the most people live in Australia, recorded the largest daily increase in infections in 16 months (124 cases). Authorities warn that this number is likely to increase.
“I’m sorry we haven’t achieved the results we hoped for earlier this year,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra. News.com reports that the head of government apologized and took responsibility for the slow pace of vaccination, although he did not want to do so before.
In Australia, less than 150,000 vaccines are administered daily, which leaves it far behind other developed countries, the AP agency points out. The government says it will meet its goal of vaccinating the adult population by the end of 2021, when millions of vaccine doses arrive in the coming weeks from Pfizer and Moderna.
Increase in infections in Australia
Meanwhile, the country’s most populous state, New South Wales, recorded 124 new cases of coronavirus infection on Thursday, its highest daily balance in 16 months. The day before, 110 infections had been reported there. Most of the infections have been reported in the state capital of Sydney, which remains in the lockdown regime for the fourth week.
In the state of Victoria, with a stay-at-home order in force for the second week, there have been 26 new cases, up from 22 the previous day. “We anticipate the number of cases will continue to rise before it starts to decline and we need to prepare for it,” said New South Wales Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian.
The Sydney lockdown is set to end on July 30, but Berejiklian said cases must be close to zero first. She called on people to get vaccinated: – The vaccine is the key to our freedom.
Delta spread despite lockdown
In the state of Victoria, south of New South Wales, all 26 new cases were linked to known transmission chains, and 24 were quarantined throughout the infectious period, local authorities said.
The neighboring state of Queensland has closed its border with New South Wales, cutting off one of the country’s busiest routes. And the state of South Australia, also in the blockade, has reported two new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Australia has been widely praised for containing the 2020 pandemic. But this year it has struggled with slowing the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus, even with over half of its 25 million population locked in a week’s lockdown, AP points out.
The restrictions, which according to the Minister of the Treasury (Finance) Josh Frydenberg, cost the economy about AU $ 300 million ($ 220 million) a day, and the probability that they will remain in force at less than 15%. fully vaccinated adult population, fueled public anger, AP reported.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / JOEL CARRETT