Soldiers have been sent in to Sydney to enforce the world’s strictest lockdown in the city’s poor suburbs that are at the centre of Australia’s growing Covid outbreak amid poor vaccination rates.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison sent around 300 soldiers to parts of Sydney with higher migrant populations as well as southwestern areas yesterday to stop people leaving their homes more than once and break up gatherings, The Times reports.
It comes as the country continues to pursue a ‘Zero Covid’ strategy with aims to eliminate the virus despite mounting evidence it may be impossible – with cases continuing to rise and only 21 per cent of adults double vaccinated.
Sydney has struggled to encourage poorer areas to get the Covid vaccine, with only 13 per cent vaccinated compared to 25 per cent in wealthier parts.
Epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaw’s described the discrepancies between uptake as ‘shameful’ and explained many poorer areas are at a disadvantage due to language barriers, lower incomes and poor internet access.
Reaction to the soldiers’ presence has been mixed, with some arguing it could cause distress for people in the area due to the high refugee population and their experiences with war in their native countries.
Others argue their presence is needed to stop people spreading the virus after reports people have been travelling to visit their loved ones.
As the delta variant continues to spread, Australia’s coveted status as a haven from the pandemic could be at an end, with experts warning that a sustained outbreak of the variant makes a return to ‘Covid zero’ unlikely.
After long stretches with zero local cases – what Australians once jokingly referred to as ‘doughnut days’ – a Sydney outbreak has now grown to 4,610.
Picture: Scott Moronsons in Hawai when Australia Burned
Political Situation Awareness = Zero
Here’s Kylie – she would like you to visit
Here’s a picture from Guantanamo Bay