Covid 19 Australia: Victoria outbreak grows amid ‘lockdown fatigue and slow vaccine uptake’

Victoria recorded another 392 new local cases of Covid-19 on Sunday morning, as the state’s vaccination rate climbs higher.

Just 107 of the cases have so far been linked to existing outbreaks, suggesting contact tracers are struggling to keep up with the surge.

More than 36,000 vaccines were administered on Saturday, and 48,063 tests were carried out.

As of Sunday morning, 65 per cent of eligible Victorians have had their first dose of vaccine and 45 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Sunday’s numbers come as epidemiologist Professor Catherine Bennett told The Age that Victoria’s high case numbers were accelerating faster than NSW’s due to “lockdown fatigue and slow vaccine uptake”.

“Victoria came in with a sledgehammer, but that still didn’t work,” Bennett said. “Every time my partner comes back from his hour of exercise or bike ride, he tells me he’s seen 40 people with no mask and 20 with a mask, so there’s this sense that even early in this lockdown it quickly looked a bit like the end of the last big lockdown.”

Bennett said the ACT locked down with one case and is still struggling to get its outbreak under control and New Zealand was at a crossroads.

“Unless you get that absolute buy-in [with compliance], luck on your side and a small-enough, tight-enough spread of community transmission that you can contain, then it’s all about vaccine because vaccine works everywhere,” she said.

Melbourne residents have been given no end date for their current lockdown, while locals in regional Victoria (excluding Shepparton) are enjoying their first free weekend after they were released from lockdown.

But, Ballarat residents are on high alert after Covid-19 fragments were found in wastewater.

Queensland

Southeast Queensland has again avoided going into lockdown after no new cases were recorded overnight.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the infections were “contained to the family” after a 13-year-old student at tested positive on Friday morning. By Saturday, all five members in the family had tested positive.

The source of the infection is not yet known, but the St Thomas More College in Sunnybank, in Brisbane’s south, was closed on Friday with the student infectious at school for three days during the week.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles thanked Queenslanders for doing the right thing and said the region could “breathe a sigh of relief”.

“We’re not out of the woods yet,” he said. “But this is the best result we could have hoped for at this point of the outbreak.”

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