- Protests against lockdowns continue in Australia’s major cities.
- Cases in Victoria have spiked to a new high.
- The country reported 11 deaths on Monday.
Anti-lockdown protests have been rocking Sydney and Melbourne since Sunday as lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 spread continue across major Australian cities.
Anti-vaccine mandate protests in Sydney and Melbourne got heated on Sunday and Monday.
In Melbourne, further protests erupted after provincial Victorian authorities decided to shut down construction sites in the city for two weeks saying the frequent movement of workers was spreading the virus into regional areas.
The provincial government has asked construction workers to get at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of this week.
Where do fresh cases stand?
Even as COVID-19 cases in the most populous state of New South Wales seem to have crossed the peak of the pandemic’s third wave, the nationwide cases have plateaued at the peak level, driven primarily by a surge in cases in Victoria. The state recorded 628 fresh cases of the virus – making up more than one-third of the cases reported in the entire country. Australia reported 1,681 cases on Tuesday.
The country also recorded 11 deaths during the day – of which, 10 happened in New South Wales and one in Victoria.
How will it impact the economy?
The shutdown of construction sites is set to worsen the country's economic activity with analysts anticipating the extended lockdown to push Australia's AU$2-trillion (US$1.45-trillion) economy to a second recession after 2020.
The country has locked down two of its economically most important cities – Sydney and Melbourne – along with the national capital of Canberra to quell the outbreak of highly infectious Delta variant. However, tough restrictions have triggered anti-lockdown rallies across these cities with police arresting hundreds in both cities over the weekend.
The country is aiming at increased vaccination drive to open up the economy.
So how is vaccination coming along?
The country has upped its vaccination drive of late. Initially, the country was only banking on the vaccines from Pfizer and Astrazeneca. However, as the country targeted 70% fully vaccinated adult population before easing restrictions, it had to increase its basket of vaccines – and that is where Moderna came in with its batch of one million vaccines since last weekend.
As on date, the country has administered little over 25 million doses of the vaccine. While the single-dose vaccination population has breached the 70%-mark, the country has a long way to go in fully vaccinating them. The partially vaccinated share of population in the country now stands at 72.8%, while fully vaccinated stands at 47.7%.