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World How did Australia almost get rid of Covid-19

19:10  30 november  2020
19:10  30 november  2020 Source:   lepoint.fr

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The COVID - 19 pandemic in Australia is part of the ongoing worldwide pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 ( COVID - 19 ) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

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  Comment l'Australie s'est quasiment débarrassée du Covid-19 © Provided by Le Point

Eliminate Covid-19? Many dream of it, the Victoria did it. This state to the south-east of Australia has not recorded any new cases since the end of October. "If you have no new cases for 28 days, you have almost no chance of having contamination in the community," confirmed to ABC public television Dr. Hassan Vally, epidemiologist at the university from La Trobe, Melbourne. Cases may of course have fallen through the cracks, but "the more time you spend without finding a new case, the more confident you can be that you have eliminated the virus."

The Victoria therefore won its battle against the virus, but at the cost of heavy sacrifices. After a national containment in the spring, the State, and especially its capital Melbourne? 5 million inhabitants?, Took the full brunt of a second epidemic wave that occurred earlier than in Europe , in July, in the middle of winter in the southern hemisphere. With 400 to 500 new daily cases on average, the local government decided on July 8 to reconfine the metropolis, then the entire state. The people of Melbourne were once again subject to 112 days of strict confinement until October 28.

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The official Australian Government response website to provide support and updates to Australians on the Coronavirus pandemic. National Cabinet endorses the Australian COVID - 19 Vaccination Policy. The policy sets out the roles and responsibilities of the Commonwealth, states and territories in

Australia has so far weathered the COVID - 19 storm well, even as the case count continues to accelerate globally. Most of the country has rolled back the very same social restrictions that helped us curb the spread of the virus early on. Then came a devastating twist in Victoria

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26 times fewer deaths per capita than in France

At the height of the second wave in early August, the Prime Minister of Victoria Daniel Andrews even declared a "state of disaster", the stage after the state of emergency, and mobilized the military to control quarantine measures. Australia however managed the Covid-19 epidemic rather well: it recorded only 908 deaths for 25 million inhabitants, or nearly 26 times fewer deaths per capita than in France . Victoria was particularly affected, concentrating on its own 90% of the deaths of the country while it represents only a quarter of the population.

The second wave now seems to be over. The last patient hospitalized for Covid-19 in Victoria was released from the hospital on November 23. This Monday, November 30, only eleven new cases had been recorded in 24 hours: nine in New South Wales, one in Queensland and one in the Northern Territory. Of the 68 new cases detected last week, only eight had contracted the virus in Australia, the others having been infected abroad. The State of South Australia has detected a cluster of around thirty cases in mid-November and decided on a very strict six-day containment to break the chain of contamination, but lifted it three days earlier than expected by not finding new cases outside of people in quarantine.

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The compulsory vaccine?

The neighboring states of Victoria, which had for the most part closed their borders to protect themselves from the second wave, begin to lift their restrictions. Flights from Melbourne to Sydney resumed on Monday 23 November, greeted with joy by lifeguards at famous Bondi Beach and drag queens, allowing for a long-awaited reunion between families and couples separated by the virus for several month. Tasmania also reopened its border this week; Queensland and South Australia have planned to do so as of December 1.

  Comment l'Australie s'est quasiment débarrassée du Covid-19 © Provided by Le Point A deserted street in Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, during the few days of the state's second flash containment in mid November. © BRENTON EDWARDS / AFP

The challenge for the mainland country is now to ensure that the virus, which hardly ever circulates on its territory, is not imported there again. Authorities may in the future require foreign visitors to be vaccinated or undergo a period of quarantine. The Australian airline Qantas will in any case require its passengers to be vaccinated.

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For Australians, the vaccination campaign should begin in March 2021. In mid-August, Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke in favor of compulsory vaccination . "There are always exemptions from vaccination, for medical reasons, but that should be the only one," he said over 3AW radio, before retracting. The vaccine will be reserved for only volunteers, finally confirmed the Minister of Health, Greg Hunt . While waiting for the vaccine and taking advantage of the lull in terms of health, Melbourne is preparing to host the Australian Open at the end of January, and could even afford the luxury of having the public in the stands.

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