Dubbo, a city of about 50,000 people some 240 miles from Sydney, is the latest to have stay-at-home orders enforced for at least one week after two cases of the infectious variant were detected, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters. Meanwhile Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, extended its lockdown for another week.
Dubbo joins Sydney — Australia’s largest city with almost 6 million people — which has so far failed to bend the curve of new cases despite enforcing stay-at-home orders for more than six weeks.
Melbourne recorded 20 new cases in the community on Wednesday. It will stay in lockdown for at least another seven days beyond Thursday, when the stay-at-home orders were due to lift. The city is in the midst of its sixth lockdown since the pandemic began.
According to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker, just 18% of Australians have received two shots — among the lowest levels in the developed world. In Sydney, New South Wales Premier Berejiklian had previously indicated that some restrictions in the city may ease by the end of this month should full adult vaccination rates reach 70% and case numbers are brought under control.
“September and October will be challenging months in terms of public policy, how we move forward, because we wouldn’t have reached the 70%,” she said. A vaccination rate of 70% would mean “life will look very different to what it does today.”