Australia to End Tyrannical COVID Strategy: ‘It Is Not a Suitable Way to Live’

Australia recorded 1,126 new cases on Saturday, the highest number since the pandemic began, despite massive restrictions

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Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, defended changing his country’s COVID-19 strategy. Morrison explained that, in his opinion, the model they have been implementing since the beginning of the pandemic, called COVID zero, is not a suitable way to live.

Australia has maintained a strict policy of restrictions and closures to stamp out any outbreaks. According to the Economist, cases will now be allowed to increase as long as hospitals can cope. The plan is to remove most restrictions once 80 % of adults are vaccinated. This goal is expected to be achieved by the end of the year.

Zero-COVID strategy

Since the pandemic began, countries such as Australia and New Zealand have closed their borders and established quarantine hotels to keep the virus out of their countries, at least until vaccines become available.

“More than 30,000 Australians abroad are waiting to return home because of limits on how many can do so each month,” explained The Economist.

The media indicated that the situation in some cities such as Melbourne, which has been quarantined for more than 200 days since the start of the pandemic, in addition to the increased transmissibility of the delta variant, led to the evaluation of a plan to end the zero infection plan and accept that cases, and to a lesser extent deaths, will increase.

“Moreover, almost no Australians have acquired immunity naturally through infection,” The Economist reported.

The country has maintained harsh restriction measures, which had consequences on society. For example, in November, the deaths of four babies in need of medical care in Adelaide were reported after they were denied transport to Melbourne due to the measures.

The state capital of South Australia, also does not offer pediatric heart surgery. According to local news reports, this means that about 100 babies are sent to other states for their annual treatment, usually to the Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital. However, due to COVID-19 closure restrictions, Melbourne is no longer an option. Patients must be sent to Sydney instead.

Even the animals have suffered the consequences of the measures pushed by the Australian authorities. In January of this year, they considered euthanizing a pigeon that traveled from the United States to Australia. The “experts” claimed that they did not know the bird’s health status.

This despite the fact that agencies such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have said there is no evidence that the animals transmit the virus. “At this time, there is no evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to people,” CDC details.

“As it has not been legally prepared for importation, the health status of this bird and all those it has been in contact with since its departure and prior to its arrival is unknown,” a spokeswoman for the agriculture ministry said in a statement, picked up by DW.

Australia ha mantenido su estrategia de COVID cero desde inicios de pandemia EFE/EPA/CHAMILA KARUNARATHNE
Australia has maintained its zero-COVID strategy since the beginning of the pandemic. EFE/EPA/CHAMILA KARUNARATHNE

And Joe, as the pigeon is called, was not the only animal. Just a week ago, controversy erupted in Australia after an investigation was opened into the local government of Bourke Shire, a rural area in the southeast, after it killed dozens of dogs on their way to a shelter. Authorities argue that they did so to “protect their employees and the community” of COVID.

Cases and vaccination in Australia

Meanwhile, Australia recorded 1,126 new cases on Saturday, the highest number since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, 46.2 % of the adult population has been vaccinated. This according to data from Our World in Data.

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