Canberra is on track to come out of lockdown on Thursday with 13 new cases all linked to the outbreak – but strict restrictions will remain in place for the coming weeks
- ACT records 13 new coronavirus cases all linked to the current outbreak
- Five of the cases were contagious in the community and eight were in quarantine
- The lockdown will be relaxed on Thursday, but with strict restrictions to stay
The ACT recorded 13 new cases of coronavirus in the 24 hours to 8 p.m. Saturday, all related to outstanding infections.
“This means we know how and where they got infected,” ACT chief Andrew Barr told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.
Mr Barr said eight of the new cases were already in quarantine and the other five were contagious in the community.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr (pictured) announced that the ACT has registered 13 new cases of coronavirus in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, all related to outstanding infections
The area has now recorded 250 cases from the current outbreak, 20 of which have recovered. One person remains seriously ill in intensive care.
The ACT lockdown ends on September 2, but Mr Barr says there should be a staggered end to restrictions.
He says he believes Canberra is on track to stop this outbreak.
“But we are still exposed to a new spark, a new wave of the virus entering the ACT,” he said.
“So whatever we do between now and when we get to the very, very high levels of vaccination that we need, we’re going to have to be very careful and measured in our response.”
He ruled out that there are different restrictions on different parts of the ACT, depending on their vaccination coverage.
NSW, which surrounds the ACT, announced a record 1,218 virus cases on Sunday and Mr Barr warned that number could continue to grow, potentially reaching 2,000 cases per day.
The area has now recorded 250 cases from the current outbreak, 20 of which have recovered. A person remains seriously ill in intensive care (pictured, a woman receives an AstraZeneca vaccination in Canberra)
“Our hope is that the NSW government’s more immediate and clear regional lockdowns will have a much greater dampening effect on the viral spread based on the fact that they started earlier,” he said.
About 64 percent of Canberrans have had one coronavirus shot and just over 40 percent have had two.
But Mr Barr believes there will be a need for a continuous vaccination program beyond reaching 70, 80 or even 95 percent.
“All the evidence from the Northern Hemisphere suggests that the vaccines provide very effective protection, but they do need to be enhanced,” he said.
“I think we can anticipate, if Covid follows the path of other infectious diseases, that it will be with us for the rest of our lives and that we should have a booster shot every year.”