Australian capital is facing its ‘most serious public health risk,’ after detecting the first case of community transmission.
A total lockdown was declared across Canberra for a whole week.
The announcement came after reporting its first locally acquired case of COVID-19 in more than a year.
The country’s biggest cities, Melbourne and Sydney, are already under hard lockdowns.
The new restrictions came as Australia battles to control the highly infectious Delta strain of the coronavirus.
“This is the most serious public health risk we have faced in the territory this year,” Andrew Barr, the chief minister of the Australian Capital Territory, said.
“It is why we are introducing a strict lockdown in response.”
WHO: Covid Is Not Over
The World Health Organization (WHO) has earlier warned governments worldwide to ease COVID-19 restrictions too soon.
The UN health agency’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan warned of a new wave of infections, saying the pandemic was just getting started for much of the world.
He also warned countries that did so “risked paying a heavy price for rushing back to normality.”
“All of the countries of the Americas, we still have nearly one million cases a week,” he said. “And the same in Europe…with half a million cases a week. It’s not like this thing has gone away,” Ryan added. “It isn’t over.”
This came as Britain declared a plan to ease the coronavirus restrictions further.
However, the UK has been under the spotlight given rising numbers of new coronavirus cases with the Delta variant.
Many countries have restricted travel from the UK because of the spread of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2.
Furthermore, travellers from Britain are now required to show proof of their vaccination. For those who have not been vaccinated, they must produce a negative RT PCR test report.
The variant is more transmissible than others and was first identified in India, but it has spread rapidly in the UK.
However, Portugal was the first European Union nation to announce that the Delta variant was now dominant on its territory.
According to the World Health Organization, it is “well on its way” to account for most worldwide cases of Covid-19.