As it tries to suppress Delta variant breakouts, Australia has reported its 1,000th fatality from the epidemic.
Due to its early success in controlling the virus, the country’s tally of 1,003 Covid fatalities is lower than that of most other advanced nations.
However, Australia is currently seeing its worst case numbers since the outbreak began.
A recent outbreak of illnesses in Sydney has put Australia’s response plan and health resources under strain.
On Monday, the state of Additional South Wales, whose capital is Sydney, reported four new fatalities and a day total of 1,218 cases.
Even though more individuals got vaccinated, authorities cautioned that mortality and hospitalization rates would rise through October.
After breakouts in Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra, more than half of Australia is on lockdown.
Longer lockdowns and a surge in vaccines have fueled discussion over whether states and the country should reopen.
The Debate Rages On
Last Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison reversed the country’s earlier zero-Covid policy.
He wants the country to start loosening restrictions after 70% of adults, or slightly over half of the population, have been vaccinated.
He warned parliament last week that “we cannot live in this cave forever,” alluding to the various city lockdowns and locked state borders.
However, opponents and several medical professionals reject Mr Morrison’s objectives, claiming that easing limits too soon may harm lives.
The government’s strategy is based on Doherty Institute modeling, which estimates that if society reopened with a 70% vaccination rate, there would be 1,500 fatalities and 389,000 cases in six months.
In July, Australia’s National Cabinet, which includes state leaders, agreed “in principle” to the proposal.
However, several state premiers now claim that the modeling failed to account for an increase in Sydney’s Delta wave. The states of Western Australia and Queensland have expressed the most worry.
After shutting off their borders, those two jurisdictions, together with South Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory, had Covid rates of zero or near zero.
Australia might hit 70 percent immunization rates by mid-November, based on current vaccination rates.
Approximately 34% of adult Australians have been vaccinated, with 57 percent having received a first dose.