Tuesday 10 August 2021

Delta variant of Covid-19 running rampant in parts of Sydney

After getting through 2021 relatively unscathed (compared to the US, Europe and many other countries) in terms of infections and deaths, most people had expected 2022 would continue to see Australia maintain close to zero community transmission while the two available vaccines (AZ and Pfizer) were slowly rolled out by the end of 2022. The spread of the delta variant in Sydney (starting from a single community case of an unvaccinated driver coming into contact with an infected international aircrew he was talking to hotel quarantine) has shown that our existing 'gold standard' lock-downs, contract tracing etc. isn't capable of getting the delta variant under control (especially when some people were breaching the public health orders - for example going to regional areas of NSW, or attending parties in nearby cities).

What is more worrying (to me) is that the daily case numbers are continuing to climb despite already 1/3 of all Australians (>40% of 'eligible' Australians i.e. adults) having had one dose of vaccine, and over 20% already being 'fully vaccinated'. I would have expected the lockdowns coupled with a sizeable fraction of the population being fully vaccinated would have seen lower rates of spread by this stage. Hopefully things do improve in September (when we should be getting close to 50% of all eligible adults fully vaccinated), but I'll be extra cautious until I get my first dose of Pfizer in late September...

So far Australia still has less than 1,000 deaths from Covid-19 in total, so I suppose we are still the 'lucky country' in terms of how Covid-19 has impacted us.

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