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Covid-19 tracker: Australia ranked the worst nation for vaccine rollout

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Frustration is growing across Australia as more than half of the population suffers through further lockdowns to curb the growing Covid-19 outbreaks

Police officers patrol the Valley Mall in Brisbane on March 29, 2021 as more than two million people in the city entered a three-day lockdown after a cluster of coronavirus cases was detected in Australia’s third-biggest city. (Photo by Patrick HAMILTON / AFP)

18 months into the lockdown, many are questioning why they are subjected to tough stay-at-home orders, as countries like England and the US open up.

Less than 14 percent of the entire population is vaccinated – which is the worst rating out of the OECD nations

It comes as Prime Minister, Scott Morrison acknowledges the nation’s struggles but refuses to apologise.

AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON

He says “no country has got their pandemic response 100%” and spoke of the nation’s low overall infection rates compared to many other countries.

915 people have died as a result of Covid-19 in Australia since the pandemic began.

Border closures, hotel quarantine programmes and lockdowns have all helped keep case numbers low in the past, but the increased prevalence of the Delta strain has authorities concerned.

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

Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia all remain subject to strict stay-at-home orders today as residents wait to see if all of their hard work is paying off.

“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 is currently in an extended lockdown, reporting its highest number of locally acquired covid cases to date this year on Thursday morning.

“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,” Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday.

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

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.

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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