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‘This is a dangerous time’ – three Australian states in lockdown

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A third Australian city will go into lockdown tonight as restrictions tighten across the nation in a race to contain a growing number of Covid-19 outbreaks

South Australia in lockdown

Health authorities have confirmed South Australia’s outbreak is the Delta strain, prompting the state to tighten restrictions.

From 6:00pm, there will be just five reasons to leave your home.

It follows the state recording FIVE new infections in its latest reporting period.

Premier Steven Marshall is providing a coronavirus update, he says “we have to act decisively, we have to act quickly.”

He says “there is no need for panic buying”, and there are plenty of supplies across the state.

“This is a dangerous time,” Mr Marshall said.

“I’m 100 per cent convinced that South Australians will rise to the challenge, will make sure they can abide by these new restrictions, and make sure we get through this in as short a time as possible.”

Victoria’s lockdown extended

Melbourne will extend its COVID lockdown by seven days.

It follows the state nine new cases of COVID-19 overnight, but authorities remain concerned about the rampant spread of the Delta strain of the virus.

That’s midnight next Tuesday, July 27.

“As promising as our progress has been avoiding a New South Wales-style long, lengthy, very challenging lockdown, where you just lose control of cases, we’ve avoided that, but we need more time,” Mr Andrews said.

“There are chains of transmission that are not yet contained, that we don’t know about.”

Premier Daniel Andrews has also announced any travel to Victoria using red zone permits will be temporarily paused. 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says “the signs are positive” but the state needs more time to be certain as too when it can open up again.

Sydney and the state of New South Wales also remain in lockdown today

NSW is in the midst of a 5-week lockdown.

NSW recorded 78 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday.

Cheif Health Officer Kerry Chant said authorities were seeing more hospitalisations, admissions to ICU and people on ventilators.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the spread of the virus in workplaces and households remains a concern but that it is “always pleasing when we see a drop in the [day-by-day] numbers”.

“That 78 figure would have been much higher had people not been doing the right thing and we just need everyone to stick with it and make sure you protect yourself and your family and your work colleagues in particular. ”

Where did it all begin?

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant confirmed on Thursday that the Sydney driver who tested positive for COVID-19 had the Delta variant.

According to the ABC, while the recent COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria also involved the Delta variant, that outbreak was linked to a different source of infection.

The Delta variant was first detected in India in October last year.

UK authorities have estimated the Delta variant is 40 per cent more infectious than the Alpha variant that sent Britain into lockdown at the start of the year.

Matt Grudnoff from the Australia Institute says there is a possibility of a ‘double dip recession’ due to the variant causing cities to lockdown.

Global Politics

Travel bubble bursts between Australia and NZ

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New Zealand has suspended its travel bubble with Australia

The nation has halted its travel bubble arrangements for at least eight weeks as Australia continues to battle against the delta variant of COVID-19.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern fronted the media and stated that “the Delta variant has materially changed the risk profile”. 

From 11:59pm tonight, Australians will be unable to travel to New Zealand on a quarantine-free flight

This restriction will be in place for at least the next eight weeks.

The trans-tasman route is already closed to travellers flying into New Zealand from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia as those states battle COVID-19 outbreaks. 

“For New Zealanders in Australia, we are absolutely committed to getting you home,” Ms Ardern said. 

Jacinda Ardern has paused the trans-Tasman arrangement with Australia.

Constant disruption to trans-Tasman travel bubble

Flights to New Zealand inside the bubble have been paused and restarted as different Australian states have experienced COVID-19 outbreaks. 

“For the next seven days, we will have managed return flights for New Zealanders from all states and territories. 

“Only New Zealand citizens and those ordinarily resident in New Zealand will be able to fly home.” 

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Global Politics

“National emergency” – Sydney in crisis as COVID cases rise

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Sydney has declared a national emergency as COVID-19 cases rise across the Australian city

Sydney and the state of New South Wales is calling on the Australian Federal Government to “refocus the national vaccination strategy”.

As the delta variant of the virus spreads throughout the city, Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her government have declared a national emergency.

New South Wales Government officials say that the spreading of the virus is “threatening the safety of other states.”

“This is not just a challenge for New South Wales – it’s a challenge for Australia”

They’ve encouraged people in virus-ravaged south-western and western Sydney to urgently “do their duty” and get vaccinated against coronavirus.

“The national emergency, every citizen has a duty to do what they can to defeat whatever is happening to us – in this case, it is a Delta variant of a virus,”

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.

The Premier has stressed the importance of getting vaccinated as NSW records its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases today.

“We need to vaccinate younger people, between that 20 and 40-year-old age group,”

The Premier said.

Meanwhile, Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant says Australia urgently needs to “correct the mythology about AstraZeneca”.

“There is no doubt that if we want to contain this virus and stop it seeping out to other parts of Greater Sydney, stop it impacting our freedom and our economy, but also stop it spreading to other states, we need to have a discussion about refocusing the national vaccination strategy,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.

The issue will be addressed at today’s National Cabinet, she said.

At least 53 of today’s NSW cases were infectious in the community

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Business

Is a $52 billion boost enough to end a global chip shortage?

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As the race to combat the global chip shortage continues the Biden administration is big to end the crisis

US President Joe Biden is preparing to spend $52 billion to boost the worsening shortage of semiconductor chips.

The White House is still waiting for congressional approval on the big spend but is pushing ahead with plans of how to invest the money wisely.

The Commerce Secretary says America “needs to incentivise the manufacturing of chips” if the country wants the crisis to end.

She added that officials have been speaking with the impacted industries on a daily basis which has helped address the shortage from the ground up.

Whilst there have been reports that the sector is gradually improving, but the car manufacturing sector may still be impacted by delays.

Biden recently called for Semiconductor chips to be produced locally in the US, but this company is ignoring his plea.

Semiconductor manufacturer ‘Global Foundries’ has ignored US President Joe Biden’s request for new plants to be built locally amid the global chip shortage.

Construction will begin on the $4 billion Asian plant in 2023. This goes against the Biden administration’s wishes to return chip manufacturing to American soil.

The company will join rivals including ‘Samsung’ and ‘Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’ which are all also trying to address the current chip shortage.

The President has been under increasing pressure to secure a constant supply of this crucial tech that is used in so many modern devices.

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