Long-time Chief Executive Officer Ben Silbermann of Pinterest would step down, handing over the reins of the social media platform to Google...

Stock Market

Google executive to take over as a new CEO of Pinterest

Top accounting firm Ernst & Young has been slammed with a record $100 million fine from the US government...

Stock Market

Accounting firm gets 100 million fine for faulty regulations

The Indian rupee slipped into a fresh low today and extended losses against the US dollar.

Forex

The rupee tumbled to a new low against the dollar in the midst of an increase in crude oil price

Wall Street saw a sharp fall at its closing in a broad sell-off. Consumers' worries over recession have sparked up...

Stock Market

Wall Street Lose Balance after recession strikes growth fear among consumers’

Soaring inflation may be pushing the US economy into a deep recession. Last week's 0.75% interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve...

Stock Market

Inflation ringing the recession bell - Mohammed Shaheen

Coronavirus

17 Oct 2021

Melbourne to lessen COVID-19 Lockdowns as Vaccinations Rise

The Index Today

Melbourne Officials said on Sunday that the city, which has spent more time under COVID-19 lockdowns than any other city in the world, is about to lift its stay-at-home lockdown orders this week. Reuters report says that this Australian city of 5 million people will have been under six lockdowns totaling 262 days, or nearly nine months, since March 2020.

Australian and other media said that this is the longest in the world, exceeding a 234-day lockdown in Buenos Aires.

While coronavirus cases keep rising in Victoria State, of which Melbourne is the capital, the state's double-vaccination rate is set to reach 70% this week, allowing for the ease in restrictions.

"Today is a great day," said Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews in announcing the lockdown. "Today is a day when Victorians can be proud of what they have achieved."

When hospitality venues and some businesses reopen, their capacity will remain heavily restricted. More easing, including the reopening of many retailers, will come once 80% of eligible Victorians are fully vaccinated - estimated by Nov. 5 at the latest.

On Sunday, Victoria recorded 1,838 new coronavirus cases and seven deaths. Neighboring New South Wales, which emerged last week from a 100-day lockdown, reported 301 cases and 10 deaths. Eighty percent of the state's people have been fully vaccinated.

Australia, once a champion of a COVID-zero strategy of managing the pandemic, has been moving towards living with the virus through extensive vaccinations, as the Delta variant has proven too transmissible to suppress.

The new strategy makes lockdowns highly unlikely once 80% of the population is fully vaccinated. As of the weekend, around 68% of eligible Australians have been fully inoculated.

Australia's health officials said on Sunday that quarantine-free travel from New Zealand's South Island, where there is no outbreak, will resume on Wednesday. The government is also in discussions with Singapore about reopening travel between the two countries for the fully vaccinated.

©Photo: AFP

Clay pottery with table linens