Otago Daily Times
Cases continue to rise in Australia
SYDNEY: Coronavirus cases in Australia spiked again yesterday, , despite a weekslong lockdown, authorities warning that infections would rise more and take a toll on the economy as the country battles to contain the highly contagious Delta variant.
New South Wales reported 124 new Covid19 cases, compared with 110 a day earlier, a record for this year and the highest in 16 months. Most of the infections were reported in Sydney, which is in its fourth week of a lockdown.
About 50,000 people in the centralwestern local government areas of Orange, Blayney and Cabonne remain in a weeklong lockdown. Victoria, entering a second week of stayathome orders, logged 26 new cases, up from 22.
Queensland has closed its border to NSW, citing the outbreak, shutting off one of the most travelled routes in the country.
South Australia reported two new cases as officials track two ‘‘superspread events’’ — gatherings at a winery and a Greek restaurant in the state capital Adelaide.
‘‘We anticipate case numbers will continue to go up before they start coming down and we need to brace ourselves for that,’’ NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
Of most concern was the number of people moving around in the community before being diagnosed, which was 48 on Wednesday in NSW, the state’s health authorities said.
Sydney was due to exit lockdown on July 30 but Berejiklian has said the number of infections in the community must be near zero first.
She urged people to get vaccinated.
‘‘The vaccine is key to our freedom.’’
Berejiklian denied contact tracers had lost control of the
JAKARTA: Hospitals in Indonesia’s easternmost region of Papua are nearing full capacity amid a Covid19 surge, health officials bracing for the full impact of the Delta variant on one of the country’s leastdeveloped areas.
The bed occupancy rate at some hospitals had reached 100%, with emergency units and disease.
‘‘It’s not because our contact tracers don’t necessarily get to them quickly.
‘‘It’s because people remember things subsequently or people may not have known they were infectious at a particular point in time,’’ she said.
Australian Prime Minister tents being used to treat Covid19 patients, Dr Aaron Rumainum, head of the Papua health agency’s disease control and prevention unit, said.
‘‘We have the same problem as Java. Isolation rooms are full and there is a lack of oxygen,’’ he said, adding the Delta variant had been detected.
Indonesia is in the throes of a Scott Morrison apologised for a sluggish Covid19 vaccination programme yesterday, while the country’s most populous state reported its biggest oneday spike in infections in 16 months and warned cases would likely rise further.
Australia was widely lauded for containing the pandemic in raging Covid19 epidemic, with shortages of hospital beds and oxygen reported across the capital Jakarta, and other parts of densely populated Java island.
Across Papua the bed occupancy rate was about 57% but in the provincial capital of Jayapura it was more than 96%, Covid19 taskforce spokesman and deputy director of the Jaya2020, but it has struggled this year to slow the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant even with more than half its 25 million population under a weekslong lockdown.
The curbs, which Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said were costing the economy about $A300 million ($NZ317 million) daily, and pura General Hospital (RSUD) Silwanus Sumule said.
There were at present 47 people waiting in the corridors, unable to get a room, he said.
‘‘Maybe 47 isn’t a lot in places like Java, but it’s really big here.’’
The Papuan region, divided into West Papua and Papua, has poorly equipped health facilities and low vaccination rates. the likelihood that they would stay in place as less than 15% of the adult population has been fully vaccinated, have stoked public anger.
‘‘I’m sorry that we haven’t been able to achieve the marks that we had hoped for at the beginning of this year,’’ Morrison said in Canberra yesterday.
Before the pandemic, it already had endemic diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis that were not well handled.
Earlier this week, Papua Governor Lukas Enembe said he was considering blocking access in and out of the province.
Indonesia’s Covid19 death rate is more than three times the global rate. — Reuters Australia has been administering fewer than 150,000 vaccines each day, well behind other developed nations.
The Government said it would meet its target to inoculate its adult population by the end of 2021 as millions of vaccine doses arrive from Pfizer and Moderna in the coming weeks.