The best we can say about it is that it’s not Monday. It’s just such a week.
Victoria’s Covid Exposure Sites Have Hit 1,000, with Victorian authorities already confirming that the seven-day “circuit breaker” lockout, now on its 26th day, will be extended. We are waiting to see how long and what restrictions will remain in effect.
In NSW, now in its 10th week of closure, with cases that continue to rise, Deputy Prime Minister John Barilaro says the coming weeks will be worse. He told the ABC this morning:
As we get through September and October, the number of cases will continue to rise. Our vaccination process is accelerating. There will be a crossroads sometime in the next few weeks where we start to see how vaccination will actually put downward pressure on the numbers, but what the final numbers look like, look, I can’t predict, I don’t have a crystal ball , but we predict an increase and we are preparing for it.
But it is western NSW that is of particular concern, especially in communities like Wilcannia, that are struggling to cope with the outbreak. It’s not just the virus that’s worrying enough as it is, it also provides the basics in the community, such as food. Not that all this should be new – like Lorena Allam reported yesterday, authorities were warned about the possible catastrophe a year ago in the community.
It was only last week that Barilaro described the situation in regional NSW as a “tinder box waiting to explode”. But there don’t seem to be many answers. Here he was this morning:
I am very concerned. I get up every day and talk about those infections in Wilcannia and Broken Hill, and it’s regular.
It is every day that there are new cases in those areas. We are focused We have refocused our priorities and resources. Should they have been vaccinated, yes? They should have been part of the [federal] program at the beginning of the year. It didn’t happen.
We’re going fast now and we’re maximizing what’s happening in the central west, what’s happening in Dubbo. Thirty-three cases yesterday out of 51 cases in places like western New South Wales, places like Parkes and Forbes showing constant signs of this outbreak and we know Delta is having a hard time controlling it.
We’ll bring you all the Covid news as it is, as well as politics, while parliament sits.
Of course, parliament will remain focused on the national plan, which has dominated everything else in the last meeting, as the government pushes through with the reopening plan. There is slowly a bit of recognition that some nuance has been missed in the government’s message – yes, the nation can reopen on the Doherty Institute model, and no, Australia cannot and should not remain closed forever. to do. But the transition will be difficult. Especially in jurisdictions where lockdowns haven’t been too common – currently covering about 40% of the population. They have lockouts, not lockdowns, and life has gone on pretty much normally for many people in those areas. “Learning to live with Covid” means accepting higher case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths than many people are used to.
You have Mike Bowers and Amy Remeikis with you on the blog, with Katharine Murphy, Sarah Martin, Paul Karp and Daniel Hurst in Canberra. We bring you a mix of covid and parliament as we continue to navigate life in a pandemic.
Finished? (It’s probably a morning of four coffees.)