The country has handled the coronavirus pandemic relatively better than most, with fewer than 31,000 total cases due to strict social distancing rules, border restrictions, contract tracing, and lockdowns.
However, the new delta variant of the coronavirus found in India for the first time now had made its appearance in Australia, and the officials are trying to contain the spread of this highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus.
Jennifer Westacott, CEO of the Business Council of Australia, is one of the people who is concerned about this situation. “We need some really clear targets. We need some really clear threshold. We need those to be realistic,” she said Monday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.”
“Business can start planning. Airlines can start planning. Small businesses can start planning. We need a little bit more precision,” she added.
“We can’t wait for 2022 to get skilled workers in the country,” she said, adding that such a delay means Australia’s “capacity to ramp up slows down, but it also means that companies just don’t do stuff here.” The health minister on vaccine issues in the country has been “really problematic,” according to Archie Clements, pro-vice-chancellor of the health sciences faculty at Curtin University.
“If you look at the vaccine rollout statistics, the rate of increase in vaccines slowed through June, and I do think that’s largely down to the mixed messaging around AstraZeneca,” he told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday.
“The federal government should have backed AstraZeneca very strongly from the very beginning, really should have been promoting it. It is a very safe vaccine,” Clements said, pointing out that only a minuscule number of people have had a severe reaction to the shot.
“We should be encouraging everyone to get vaccinated and to take the vaccine that’s available to them, regardless of whether it’s AstraZeneca or Pfizer,” he said.