Delta variant cases among fully vaccinated people cause worry in Australia
- Australia reported 103 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Friday and the bulk of it came from Sydney, taking the total caseload in the ongoing outbreak, which began a month ago, to more than 1,000.
The highly contagious Delta variant has caused the biggest threat to Australia’s coronavirus disease (Covid-19) response in months as the number of fully vaccinated people catching the infection is rising. A nurse at Westmead Hospital in New South Wales and a worker at the Brisbane international airport are reported to have Covid-19 despite being fully vaccinated against the disease, according to The Guardian.
Australia reported 103 new confirmed Covid-19 cases on Friday and the bulk of it came from Sydney, taking the total caseload in the ongoing outbreak, which began a month ago, to more than 1,000. The latest Covid-19 outbreak in Australia has claimed two lives and 75 patients have been hospitalised, reported Associated Press.
While the number is still low as compared to the rest of the world, the resurgence is a sharp turnaround for a country that was successful in keeping small flare-ups in check for months. The state of Victoria has announced some form of lockdown conditions for Sydney, the epicentre of the virus outbreak in the country.
"I can't stress to the community my absolute concern that we need to work harder at reducing mobility and reduce our interactions with others," New South Wales Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said.
Experts have warned of more breakthrough infections with the rapid spread of the Delta variant, saying the vaccines aren’t perfect. Hassan Vally, an associate professor in epidemiology at La Trobe University in Australia, said that vaccination and PPE aren’t fail-safe even though they reduce the risk of infection, The Guardian reported.
Critics have blamed the resurgence on low vaccination rates, frequent changes in vaccine guidance leading to hesitancy, and lax quarantine at the international border. Less than 10% of the Australian population has been fully vaccinated, which is below many developed nations. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has blamed the low vaccination rate on supply shortages of Pfizer’s vaccine and the restrictions on AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine due to the blood clot scare.
(With AP inputs)