Despite having lived lockdown For nearly two months, Melbourne’s COVID-19 cases surged to a record high on Thursday.
Officials blamed forbidden home gatherings organized to watch an important sporting event for the spike.
The state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located, recorded 1,438 new cases of infection on Thursday. This is a 50 percent increase from the previous day’s figure.
Authorities say a third of the new cases can be traced to binge-watching at the Australian Football Grand Final last weekend.
Victoria’s COVID-19 Response Commander, Jeroen Weimar, acknowledged this was a blow to efforts to combat the coronavirus.
“We have a new, much larger spread to the suburbs, communities, homes, which have not been touched by the coronavirus in this or recent outbreak. So we know that everyone is tired, everyone is tired of this, but today was a significant setback in the way we are dealing with this outbreak,” Weimar said.
Melbourne along with Sydney are the largest cities in Australia, and both have undergone lockdown for weeks.
The government has ditched its strategy of making COVID cases zero and is now focusing more on vaccines as a way to escape strict measures.
Once 70 to 80 percent of adults are vaccinated, Victoria and New South Wales plan to start lifting restrictions.
Australian PM Scott Morrison urged other states and territories to follow suit and start living with the virus.
The federal government plans to phase out its emergency assistance for employers and employees as vaccination rates rise. [uh/lt]