Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Four Australian Cities in Lockdown

Lockdowns, tough social distancing, swift contact tracing and a high community compliance have helped Australia quash prior outbreaks and keep its Covid-19 numbers relatively low. 

Todate, Australia has reported 30,611 cases and 910 deaths since the pandemic began. 

But the coronavirus is determined to make a big comeback. 

New South Wales, the worst-hit state in the country's latest coronavirus outbreak, reported 22 new locally transmitted cases on Wednesday as four major cities endure a hard lockdown to contain the Delta variant. 

Around one in two Australians are under stay-at-home orders with Sydney, the country's largest city, under a two-week lockdown until July 09, while Perth, Brisbane and Darwin are in snap lockdowns until later this week. 

NSW has recorded a total of around 170 new locally transmitted cases since the first infection was detected two weeks ago. 

State Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney: "New South Wales is demonstrating a steady rate of cases at this stage... but to date our fears about huge escalation haven't materialised and we certainly want to keep it that way". 

Hard restrictions, including mandatory masks and curbs on gatherings, have been enforced in most other major cities. 

Yesterday, I blogged about the heatwave that is baking western North America – but I detailed only the US part of it. To be sure, Canada is suffering too.

Yes, Canada broke its country temperature record for a third straight day on Tuesday at 49.6C (121.3F) in Lytton, British Columbia. 

Before Sunday, temperatures in the country had never passed 45C. In fact, Environment Canada reported the weather system shattered 103 heat records across not just British Columbia, but also in Alberta, Yukon and Northwest Territories on Monday.

The blistering heatwave has been blamed for helping to cause the deaths of dozens of people in the Vancouver area. With a new record temperature for Canada of 47.9C (118F) set on Monday, 233 deaths were reported in the wider British Columbia area between Friday and Monday, compared with 130 on average. 

The Vancouver Police Department alone said they had responded to more than 65 sudden deaths since Friday, with the vast majority "related to the heat". These deaths were still under investigation – and many of the deceased were seniors. 

Globally, the decade to 2019 was the hottest recorded, and the five hottest years have all occurred within the last five years.

No comments: