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As Australia continues to battle the third wave of COVID-19 infections, the country reported another record number of 1,477 new cases on Thursday morning. With this, the tally of active cases reached 21,000 in the country. More than half of Australians have been in weeks-long lockdowns as the number of Delta variant cases continue to rise in Sydney and Melbourne, the country's largest cities, as well as in the capital Canberra. As per an ANI report, Health Minister Greg Hunt claimed that about 36.4% of the country's population, aged 16 and above, have been fully vaccinated. Terming it as a major milestone, he stated that more than 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country as of now. Speaking to reporters in Canberra, he further stated that the country is not just on the way but it is also making real and significant progress, reported ANI.
The country has been struggling to battle the third wave of infections that began in Sydney in mid-June. The health ministry said that vaccination drives has picked up the pace recently as supplies increased amid the fear of the Delta outbreak. However, amid a surge in the number of cases, Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said that the country now needs to "learn to live" with the virus. His statement came after some premiers to states rejected the COVID-zero strategy. "We need to start balancing things now. Although we have been saying this for a while but now it's time we should start to learn to live with the virus," he added as reported by ANI.
It should be noted here that despite the recent surge in cases, the country has been successful in keeping its COVID-19 numbers relatively low. According to the health ministry's data, the country has reported 55,000 cases and 1,012 deaths as of now. As per reports, it was also the last to record 1,000 deaths among the group of 20 (G20) big economies across the world. Last week, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed the country's lockdown strategy to contain the spread of the virus. He also said that lockdown will continue until at least 70% of the population is fully vaccinated.