Australia faces the Delta variant

Australia faces the Delta variant
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Islam News – The Delta variant is spreading through Australia, a challenge to the country’s pandemic exceptionalism. Until now, its strict “Covid zero” policies have succeeded: No one has died from the virus in 2021.

But less than 8 percent of Australians are fully vaccinated and the caseload, now at around 200, grows every day. Half of the country’s 25 million people have been ordered to stay home. On Friday, the country doubled down on travel restrictions and announced that the trickle of a few thousand international arrivals allowed each week (and quarantined) would be cut by half.

For every nation pursuing a Covid-zero approach, among them China and New Zealand, it amounts to a warning: Absent blanket vaccinations, a pandemic fortress cannot hold without ever more painful restrictions.

“This is the beginning of the end of Covid zero,” said Catherine Bennett, the chair of epidemiology at Deakin University in Melbourne. “We may be able to get it under control this time, but it’s just going to be harder and harder.”

Source:  The New York Times

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