AUSTRALIA: The island nation of Australia has announced its termination of the COVID isolation regulation from next month as the country displays hopeful results of rapid recovery amid a limited number of infections.
Currently, any individual who tests positive for the virus has to remain in isolation for 14 days, which will eventually end on October 14. At times, nicknamed “Fortress Australia”, the country has had some of the strictest COVID security rules in the world since the pandemic began.
Australia’s chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, said the “emergency phase” of its response was probably over. But Professor Kelly refused to spark any hopes of a definite end to the pandemic and reminded everyone that the termination of these regulations is not to be handled lightly.
The decision “does not in any way suggest that the pandemic is finished.” Mandatory isolation has been one of the few restrictions still remaining in place.
Official COVID statistics show that the country continues to confirm about 5,500 cases on average each day. Incidentally, Australia happens to be one of the most vaccinated countries in the world.
Prof Kelly said the country would see “future peaks” of the virus, but it currently had “very low” numbers of hospital admissions and aged-care outbreaks.
The Australian Medical Association condemns the move, saying those who advocate it are not “scientifically literate” and are putting lives at risk.
About 15,000 people have died of this virus in Australia—fewer than many nations. The vast majority have happened after the country opened up this year.
Australia had barred its international borders for two years and imposed strict limitations on its citizens’ movement around the country.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said most existing government payments for people who have to miss work because of COVID would also be scrapped. “It was always envisaged that these measures were emergency measures,” he said.
Casual workers and those in the medical field working as nurses, doctors, or hospital staff will still be able to avail themselves of financial support.
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