Sydney, Sep 16 (BNA): The Australian state of Victoria recorded the largest one-day rise in COVID-19 cases of the year on Thursday as an increase in vaccinations across the country raised hopes for an easing of restrictions with nearly… 70% of the adult population. first dose.
Victoria, home to Melbourne, detected 514 new infections, surpassing last year’s high of a day at 473 on Monday, according to Reuters.
Australia’s largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, have ramped up their immunization campaigns as the country struggles to contain a third wave of infections fueled by a highly contagious delta variant, putting nearly half of the population of 25 million under strict stay-at-home orders.
However, Australia’s coronavirus infection rates are much lower than those in many other countries, with about 80,000 cases and 1,128 deaths, and authorities pledge to ease many of the strict restrictions, perhaps next month, after more people get their vaccinate them.
“That’s a double-dose 70% and 80% double-dose mark in plain sight. Keep going to Australia,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said during a press conference in Canberra.
Under the reopening plan unveiled in July, the federal government will urge states and territories to start living with the virus once those high goals are reached.
To date, 44% of people over 16 years of age have been fully vaccinated while 69% have received at least one dose.
Officials in New South Wales, in the center of the country’s worst coronavirus outbreak, have appealed to its residents to get their shots soon after they reported 12 new deaths from the virus, including 10 people who had not been vaccinated.
A total of 1,351 new cases were detected in the state, the majority in its capital, Sydney, up from 1,259.
Nighttime curfews in Sydney’s 12 worst-hit western suburbs ended Wednesday night amid a spike in vaccinations.
Officials in Victoria said coverage of the first dose will reach 70% on Friday, when some restrictions on travel and outdoor exercise are eased in Melbourne.
Melbourne’s 5 million residents are stuck in its sixth lockdown, the largest of any Australian city since the pandemic began.
An anti-lockdown protest is planned in Melbourne over the weekend and authorities are looking to avert it by halting public transport and deploying thousands of police.