Four of Australia’s eight capital cities are now under Covid-19 lockdown, as authorities struggle to contain fresh outbreaks of the highly infectious Delta variant.
Perth, the capital of Western Australia state, began a four-day lockdown at midnight Tuesday, while Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, will enter a three-day lockdown starting Tuesday evening.
They join New South Wales’ capital, Sydney, and Darwin, capital of the Northern Territory, which are already under lockdown.
Collectively, the four cities have a population of more than 10.2 million people, according to government data. As of Monday afternoon, the country has 271 active cases, the majority of which are from New South Wales, according to the national health department
Australia was celebrated for its initial response to the pandemic and for getting its economy more or less back on track long ago.
But with that security has come complacency, particularly in the federal government, which failed to secure enough vaccine doses to prevent the regular “circuit breaker” lockdowns that come every time a handful of cases emerge, or even the longer restrictions the capital cities are experiencing now.