Sydney Australia enters week 6 of major lockdowns. Greater Sydney is now entering its sixth grueling week of a hard stay-at-home lockdown – which was last week extended until at least August 28 – to slow the outbreak’s spread. Australia’s military has been called up to enforce lockdowns while helicopters blare warnings overhead, and the government vows 80% vaccinations must happen before and lockdowns are lifted.
As of Monday, August the 2nd, 300 Military personnel have been used in Sydney’s “Red Zones” to assist with compliance during COVID-19 lockdowns as the govt seeks an “as near to zero covid” goal as possible. SouthWest Sydney has 8 Local Govt Areas (LGAs) that have been placed under the most strict lockdown measures since the beginning of COVID-19.
The use of the military raises civil liberties questions. James Brown of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute says the military can be used for two clear roles domestically:
- For emergency assistance where they assist emergency services in times of flood, bushfire, etc … or,
- To contain domestic violence in which they can use force.
But what we are seeing here is politicians conflating the two purposes.
Former race discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said the development was troubling and sent a signal that the people of western and south-western Sydney “can’t be trusted”.
“NSW Health also announced a man in his 90s from south-west Sydney had died from Covid-19 at Liverpool Hospital. His death is the fifteenth fatality in the state linked to an outbreak of the highly contagious Indian Delta strain that began on June 16.”
There are now 232 patients suffering from Covid-19 in NSW hospitals – including 54 in intensive care and 25 who require ventilation.
In addition to the use of Army and Navy personnel, the police have increased patrols and set up road checkpoints around the central business district and the eight Local Govt areas. The eight current areas of concern are Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, and Parramatta.
Current measures require Sydney residents to stay within five kilometers of home, according to Reuters, and only those who receive COVID tests every three days are authorized to perform essential work outside of that radius. Police in Sydney are also using helicopters to move people on – see the video below.
“How Australia’s vaccine rollout is being jeopardized by Queensland’s stubborn chief medical officer who insists AstraZeneca ONLY be given to over 60s – putting her odds with her NSW counterpart”
Now into the 6th week of harsh lockdowns. Lifeline records the highest daily number of calls ever.
Latest update: Wednesday, August 4, 2021. Queensland has recorded 16 new virus cases amid concerning the Delta variant is spreading to the state’s north. More than 170 locations have been added to New South Wales’ list of COVID-19 exposure sites in the last 24 hours as the state battles to keep the virus at bay. Victoria has recorded no local cases for first time in almost a month.
“Double-dip recession possible as COVID lockdowns ravage Australian economy.”
The ramifications of these acute lockdowns will reach far and wide and range from physical, psychological, and financial. Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said lockdowns produced “terrible, terrible” consequences but they were a matter of “necessity”. Addiction, domestic violence, self-harm, mental health decompensations, and suicidal ideation all risk elevated numbers.
Aussies are doing their best to walk that tight rope between independence and individual liberties and submission by trusting government entities during a public health crisis. Americans are watching the happenings in Australia closely and fear they are an ominous sign indeed. The two countries share a unique bond and reverence for freedom. The Right Wire Report will keep you updated as these uncharted waters are navigated ahead.