Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Australian PM apologises for COVID-19 vaccine delays as cases spike

WorldJul 22, 2021 02:16AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. A pedestrian crosses an almost empty street in the City Centre during a lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sydney, Australia, July 21, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

By Renju Jose and Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia's prime minister apologised for a sluggish COVID-19 vaccination programme on Thursday, while the country's most populous state reported its biggest one-day spike in infections in 16 months and warned cases would likely rise further.

Australia was widely lauded for containing the pandemic in 2020, but it has struggled this year to slow the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant even with more than half its 25 million population under a weeks-long lockdown.

The curbs, which Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said was costing the economy about A$300 million ($220 million) daily, and the likelihood that they will stay in place with less than 15% of the adult population fully vaccinated have stoked public anger.

"I'm sorry that we haven't been able to achieve the marks that we had hoped for at the beginning of this year," Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

Australia has been administering less than 150,000 vaccines each day, well behind other developed nations.

The government says it will meet its target to inoculate its adult population by end-2021 as millions of vaccine doses arrive from Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) and Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) in the coming weeks.

Earlier in the day, New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous state, reported 124 new COVID-19 cases, versus 110 a day ago, the highest in 16 months.

Most of the infections were reported in NSW capital Sydney, which is in its fourth week of lockdown.

Victoria state, entering a second week of stay-at-home orders, logged 26 new cases, up from 22.

"We anticipate case numbers will continue to go up before they start coming down and we need to brace ourselves for that," said Gladys Berejiklian, premier of NSW.

'VACCINE IS KEY'

The biggest concern is the number of people moving around in the community before being diagnosed, which was 48 on Wednesday in NSW, state health authorities say.

Sydney is due to exit lockdown on July 30 but Berejiklian has said cases in the community must be near zero first.

She urged people to get vaccinated.

"The vaccine is key to our freedom."

In Victoria, to the south of NSW, all the 26 new cases were linked to known chains of transmission and 24 were in quarantine throughout their infectious period, the state authorities said.

Neighbouring Queensland state closed its border to NSW, citing the outbreak, shutting off one of the most travelled routes in the country.

South Australia state, also under lockdown, reported two new cases as officials track two "superspread events" - gatherings at a winery and a Greek restaurant in the state capital Adelaide.

ECONOMIC HIT

With large swathes of businesses shut down in the country's two largest cities, Frydenberg said the economy would likely contract when GDP figures are published in early September.

"We'll probably expect that the September quarter is a negative, of course," Frydenberg told Australia's Channel 7.

However, Morrison on Wednesday said the central bank believes a second recession in as many years will be avoided.

Australia's economy had boomed https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/australia-gdp-climbs-18-q1-back-pre-pandemic-time-2021-06-02 to pre-pandemic levels in the early months of this year thanks to low COVID-19 cases.

The country's main airline, Qantas Airways, said in a memo to staff that domestic capacity had dropped to less than 40% of pre-COVID levels and that staff may be stood down without pay if lockdowns continued for "extended periods".

($1 = 1.3596 Australian dollars)

Australian PM apologises for COVID-19 vaccine delays as cases spike
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email