Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, hinted that the country’s zero Covid-19 infections strategy might be coming to an end, warning Australians to expect an increase in the number of cases as the restrictions are progressively lifted.
Sydney, the largest city in the country, registered 830 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the past 24 hours, the record number of new infections to date, though the country was put in a very strict lockdown since late June.
Australia was one of the very few countries that tried to eradicate Covid-19 within their borders.
Their strategy was vastly successful until recently.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Australia registered only 44,026 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 981 deaths, which are amazing numbers compared to the situation of other countries.
However, other big cities of Australia, like Melbourne and Canberra, are still under lockdown as the authorities are working hard to keep an outbreak of the Delta variant under control.
The streets of Sydney and Melbourne have been swarmed by protesters last Saturday, who demonstrated against the long lockdowns, which led to numerous arrests.
Some violent episodes happened, too, as more than seven police officers were injured during the protests.
Morrison recognized the severe toll the lockdown measures took on the country’s citizens but claimed it was “darkest before the dawn.”
“(The lockdowns) are sadly necessary for now, and we will keep providing health and income support to get people through, but they won’t be necessary for too much longer,” he added.
Morrison explained that the country’s government plans to move its focus from keeping the number of cases under control to figuring out how many people were getting considerably ill from the disease and need hospitalization since that is the standard approach to all other infectious diseases.
Though Morrison didn’t speak of a specific timeline regarding the implementation of the new strategy, he mentioned that, once the country reaches its national target vaccination percentage, they can begin to slowly turn their lives to their pre-pandemic status.
Curiously, Morrison’s approach is noticeably different from that of New Zealand’s officials, which is still focusing on preventing large outbreaks of the virus inside the country.