According to the latest news, Sydney, Australia’s most populated city, extended a lockdown by four weeks. The decision came after stay-at-home order failed to douse a coronavirus outbreak.
The government issued stay-at-home order for the city of 5 million people until August 28. As we know, persistently high infections numbers since a flare-up of the highly contagious Delta strain started last month prompted government to impose stay-at-home order.
The state of New South Wales recorded 177 new infections on July 27, from 172 on Monday. Moreover, the state recorded the death of a woman in her 90s, the 11th death of the outbreak.
According to authorities, at least 46 of the new infections were people active in the community before being diagnosed, increasing the likelihood of transmission. They have warned that active community transmission must be near zero before the government relaxes rules.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that all Australians who wanted to vaccination would receive it by the end of 2021. He added that he expects to see a very different Australia by Christmas.
The NSW government reported it was redirecting Pfizer vaccine doses, which have been restricted to individuals aged 40-60, from relatively unaffected regional areas to final-year school students in the worst-affected Sydney neighbourhoods.
The state and federal governments also announced they were expanding relief funding to enable affected firms to keep paying wages through the closure.
Commonwealth Bank economist anticipates Australia’s GDP growth to decline by 2.7% in Q3
Commonwealth Bank economist Gareth Aird announced gross domestic product (GDP) growth will slump 2.7% over the three months to September. However, it will lift 1.9% in the fourth quarter of the year.
Additionally, Aird forecast the unemployment rate will peak at 5.6% in October 2021. However, it is likely to decline to 5.2% by the end of the year.
According to ANZ senior economist Felicity Emmett, the more contagious Delta variant will heavily weigh on economic growth. Emmett anticipated GDP to drop by 1.3% in the September quarter.
Meanwhile, the states of South Australia and Victoria started their first day out of shorter lockdowns that stopped outbreaks there. Victoria recorded 8 new infections, all of them isolated throughout their infectious period, and another case still under investigation.
Australia has kept its coronavirus infections relatively low, with just more than 33,200 cases and 921 deaths since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Notably, Australia has a population of approximately 25 million.