Australia, is under Siege from the Delta Variant of Covid-19. We need to be very Careful here in Ireland. Variants facilitate the virus in its drive to destroy its hosts. Thankfully the vaccines have saved lives and provide a modus operandi to tackle this Covid-19, a pandemic, similar in some ways to the Great Influenza in 1918.

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Explainer: What’s going wrong in Australia’s battle against COVID-19?

2nd August 2021


Australia has been struggling to prevent the spread of the infectious Delta variant of COVID-19, with Sydney proving to be the epicentre of the latest outbreak.a couple of people that are standing in the street© Provided by Extra.ie

The country’s most populous city has recorded more than 3,600 cases since mid-June, with thousands more close contacts told to test and stay at home for 14 days.

Rising case numbers have necessitated tighter restrictions, with police and defence forces personnel drafted in to enforce rules, and have been extended to Brisbane in an effort to curb the worsening outbreak.Zoran Filipović wearing a uniform: Army personnel have been deployed in Sydney to help police with their COVID-19 duties. Pic: EPA/JOEL CARRETT© Provided by Extra.ie Army personnel have been deployed in Sydney to help police with their COVID-19 duties. Pic: EPA/JOEL CARRETT

What’s happening in Sydney?

Around 300 Australian Defence Force personnel will be deployed in Sydney after New South Wales state police requested military help to enforce COVID-19 rules.

Troops are expected to assist police in delivering food parcels, conduct ‘welfare door-knocks’ and check people are complying with self-isolation orders.

‘I want to stress up front again that we will be under control of the NSW police,’ said Brigadier Mick Garraway. ‘We are not a law enforcement agency and we will do tasks that are supportive in nature.’

Some 250 military personnel had already been working at hotels and airports in New South Wales.a person wearing a suit and tie: The Delta variant has broken out in Sydney, Brisbane and other areas. Pic: EPA/JOEL CARRETT© Provided by Extra.ie The Delta variant has broken out in Sydney, Brisbane and other areas. Pic: EPA/JOEL CARRETT

What rules are in force in Sydney and Brisbane?

The city is entering its sixth week of lockdown, which is due to run to the end of August, affecting 5 million people.

Residents are only allowed to leave home for essential work, exercise, medical reasons and to shop for necessities.

In Brisbane and several surrounding regions, millions of people will remain under lockdown until Sunday after an ‘escalating’ outbreak grew to 29 cases. The stay-at-home orders had been scheduled to expire on Tuesday.

That will make it an eight-day lockdown,’ acting Queensland state premier Steven Miles said. ‘And we desperately hope that that will be sufficient for our contact tracers to get into home quarantine absolutely anyone who could have been exposed to the Delta strain.’Peter Dutton in a business suit sitting at a desk: Australian Minister for Defence Peter Dutton (right)is among those having to self-isolate. Pic: Sam Mooy/Getty Images© Provided by Extra.ie Australian Minister for Defence Peter Dutton (right)is among those having to self-isolate. Pic: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

How did the Brisbane outbreak start?

The outbreak was linked to a Brisbane school student, and their infection subsequently forced pupils and teachers at several schools to isolate.

Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton’s sons attend one of the affected schools, so he is among those that have to quarantine for two weeks.

‘Having had Covid and being fully vaccinated, I have also tested negative this morning,’ he said in a statement.Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has set a target of 80% vaccination before lockdowns can be eschewed. Pic: Maree Williams/Getty Images© Provided by Extra.ie Prime Minister Scott Morrison has set a target of 80% vaccination before lockdowns can be eschewed. Pic: Maree Williams/Getty Images

How’s the Australian vaccination programme doing?

Just 15% of Australia’s population of 25 million have been fully vaccinated. Australia has recorded more than 34,000 cases and 925 deaths so far during the pandemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has set a target of 80% vaccination for the eligible population before borders are reopened and lockdowns are eliminated as a strategy.

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