Australia logged a record 1,323 local COVID-19 cases on Sunday as debate rages on whether the country should start living with the virus in the community, after initially being successful with suppressing coronavirus.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been urging states to reopen their borders once a vaccination target of 70% of those 16 and older is reached, but virus-free Queensland and Western Australia states have hinted they may not follow.
Nationally just 33.7% of those eligible have been fully vaccinated, although in recent weeks Australia has been racing to inoculate its population. At current rates, 80% could be vaccinated by mid-November.
“Learning to live with the virus is our only hope,” The Age newspaper cited Australia Treasurer Josh Frydenberg as saying on Sunday. “To delay and deny that fact is not only wrong but incredibly unrealistic.”
Victoria supports the federal reopening plan, but the state authorities believe the current outbreak, now at 778 active cases, can be suppressed with a strict lockdown, which involves a nightly curfew for Melbourne, Victoria’s capital.
The June quarter economic growth figures due to be released on Wednesday may hint whether Australia would enter its second recession in as many years, as the September quarter to be released later in the year is broadly expected to show a contraction, reflecting the current outbreaks and lockdowns.
In other news – Touching: Actress Thembisa Mdoda confesses her love for her husband after surviving COVID-19
Actress and TV host Thembisa Mdoda-Nxumalo has penned a sweet appreciation message to her husband. Without mentioning his name, she thanked him for being by her side when she had Covid-19.
Taking to Instagram, she wrote: “A constant reminder of the incredible human I married. Right there by my side every day, when I was in hospital, regardless of all the 1 000 002 things he had to do. Learn more