Melbourne, Australia — After more than 100 days in one of the world’s longest and most stringent blockades, residents of Australia’s second-largest city are receiving hard-earned relief, but the term highlights the global gap in the need for containment. To fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
From July 9th, Melbourne residents were banned from leaving their homes within a three mile radius, except for a few reasons, including exercise and food shopping. Offices and retail stores are mostly closed. The restaurants and cafes were only available for takeout or delivery orders. The night curfew was lifted only late last month.
Now, with infections now dropping from its 700-plus peak to just two every day and deaths from coronavirus for three consecutive days, health authorities in Victoria, including Melbourne, are relaxing the most stringent restrictions while keeping overall lockdowns more stringent. There is. People widespread almost everywhere in the world.
Starting Monday, Melbourne’s 5 million inhabitants can travel up to 15 miles from home, and the two-hour limit for outdoor workouts is abolished. Until November 1st, retail and hospitality stores including restaurants, cafés and beauty salons can be reopened with limited capacity. The wedding is limited to 10 attendees, including couples exchanging vows. Funeral, 20 years old.
With many small business owners already at the breakpoint, Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said that if the infection rate, measured by the average daily 14-day average infection rate, declines faster than expected, it could advance the November 1 target date. However, he did not provide updates for industries such as construction, manufacturing and meat processing.
Strong tactics highlight the different approaches countries continue to take to combat the virus as 2020 enters the final week. Leaders in the United States and Europe are struggling with a new surge in coronavirus infection. But they are also struggling to balance these concerns with the economic and social turmoil caused by the blockade.
Many public health officials say that widespread containment is no longer necessary and there is no possibility of compliance.
However, in Australia, public health officials have adhered to an aggressive and almost tolerant approach to community transmission since the pandemic began. Despite the new mitigation measures, Andrews stressed that the emergence from Melbourne’s blockade would be prudent and gradual.
“These blockades have caused pain, damage and hurt, but the strategy works,” Andrews said at a TV news briefing on Sunday. “What that means is that other parts of the world are facing a heartbreaking winter due to closures and restrictions.” Victoria can now build “Covid-normal 2021”.
Andrews requested a direct comparison with the UK, where a similar number of infections occurred in August, when Victoria’s daily infection cases peaked at 725.
“Today, the UK hit 16,171 with Victoria recording two new cases,” he said. “And as we continue to loosen our limits, they have to increase their limits.”
Melbourne’s restrictions came into effect after a second infection was triggered by a violation of hotel quarantine protocols this summer, which was virtually virus-free in the rest of Australia. Officials initially tried a more specific set of block-by-block limits, but Hard rock down When the spread could not be suppressed.
As a result of this outbreak, Victoria now accounts for 816 of Australia’s 904 deaths and nearly three-quarters of all cases.
Although the infection rate in Melbourne has decreased due to strict restrictions, it has routinely crippled a city that has been voted as one of the best liveable cities in the world. Corporate groups and political opponents criticized the state’s response as unnecessarily cumbersome due to its disproportionate impact on the economy and social welfare.
Jennifer Westacott, Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of Australia, said, “There is no good reason to continue restricting our business, especially as case numbers are clearly declining. “When you don’t have a job, you don’t have money, and your business fails, it’s not enough to simply cut your hair or be allowed to go a little further.”
With Victoria accounting for about a quarter of Australia’s gross domestic product, the regulation affected the entire national economy. For the first time in almost 30 years in recession.
And for the first time in 123-year history, the Ho Stock Football Grand Final, which corresponds to the Super Bowl, will take place next week outside Melbourne.
The long restrictions have resulted in public frustration and fatigue, and have contributed to small and sporadic public protests and legal challenges of small business owners about the feasibility of the closure.
Health professionals and medical associations have broadly supported the Victorian government’s pandemic control measures, but the need to mitigate the severe mental health problems and associated job losses and social disconnects caused by prolonged lockdowns, particularly between the youth and the marginalized. Emphasized. groups.
Australia’s conservative central government health minister Greg Hunt said federal data showed a 31% increase in Victorians requiring mental health assistance over the past two months, while a 15% increase nationwide. The number of calls to mental health support services Beyond Blue was 90% higher in August in Victoria than in the rest of the country.
Australian Treasury Officer Josh Frydenberg said, “The second wave that led to the lockdown was extremely damaging to the mental health of Victorians and their economic outlook.
The Prime Minister’s approval rating fell 11 percentage points from five weeks ago, according to an October 14 poll by polling agency Roy Morgan, but it remains solid at 59%.
You receive a coronavirus briefing six days a week and a weekly health newsletter when the crisis is alleviated. Sign up here.
Andrews, who heads the central left state labor government, argues that strong action is needed to stop potentially worse third-party infections that risk overwhelming hospitals and forcing longer closures.
He said the infection rate targets are based on supercomputer scenario modeling and extensive consultation with public health experts, and that they continue to weigh on economic and social suffering. Many restrictions will last at least a few weeks or longer.
“This is not an easy decision to make,” Andrews said on Sunday. “And if we do too much, too fast, we will be where no one wants to go again. We will go back to where we were.”
writing Philip Wen at [email protected]
Copyright © 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8