Australia is facing an unprecedented rise in the number of corona infections. Authorities reported nearly 50,000 new infections in 24 hours on Tuesday. Local media reports about huge waiting times for corona tests and empty shelves in supermarkets.
Several readers responded to a call from broadcaster ABC to share stories about the rows at test locations. A woman said she had waited 6.5 hours in vain for a PCR test. She said she was only halfway through the line when she gave up. “I hadn’t eaten anything and started to feel sick in the blazing sun.”
Authorities are encouraging residents to make more frequent use of rapid tests. For example, the pressure on test locations must be reduced. However, the supply of home testing seems to be lagging behind the huge demand. The opposition complains that Australians are being left to their own devices by the government.
Not only shelves with rapid tests remain empty. According to ABC, shortages of products such as fruit, vegetables and meat in supermarkets arose in the state of New South Wales. This is because the rising number of corona infections disrupts the distribution. As a result, truck drivers and other essential employees are forced to stay at home.
Australia initially managed to keep the coronavirus largely out of the door during the pandemic. The country was closed to many foreigners and conducted extensive contact tracing. However, in the end, the authorities were unable to prevent the contagious delta variant of the virus from starting to spread on a large scale in large cities.
The number of hospital admissions of corona patients is now also increasing rapidly. After start-up problems, it was possible to vaccinate a large part of the population. More than 90 percent of the over 16s are considered fully vaccinated. Millions of Australians have also had a booster shot.