Albanese steps up criticism of vaccines | Liverpool City Champion
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has accused the government of trying to get out of a crisis and deflect the blame for Victoria’s fourth lockdown.
Five new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the state on Friday, bringing the outbreak – triggered by a violation of a hotel quarantine in South Australia – to 35 cases.
Acting Victoria Prime Minister James Merlino is among many others who point the finger at the federal government, saying that a successful deployment of vaccines and fit-for-purpose quarantine facilities may have changed Victoria’s fate.
Health Minister Greg Hunt spent Friday dismissing the criticism.
The vaccination program to date is an “extraordinary achievement,” he said, and 20 percent of the country’s adult population will soon have received at least one dose.
However, Mr Albanese said it was a milestone the government was hoping to achieve in March.
“They used these numbers to try to get out of this mess,” he told reporters on Saturday.
“(But) the truth is that in the deployment areas, the people… who were supposed to be at the front of the line… have not yet received the vaccine.
“They haven’t even deployed Category 1a.”
Only 500,000 people – about 2% of the population – have been fully immunized with two doses.
Mr Hunt denied that some people were waiting to get vaccinated because the federal government made them feel like there was no emergency and said he did not need to encourage the vaccination as has been done abroad.
“The strongest reason (for getting vaccinated) is to avoid … the COVID lottery and to avoid the death lottery,” he told reporters on Friday.
Mr Albanese also condemned the government’s defense of quarantine in hotels on Saturday.
“Scott Morrison talks about the success rate. What he doesn’t say is that with every failure there are very serious consequences – for health, for our economy and for people to live their lives. “, did he declare.
As they “failed miserably” to protect Victoria, Mr Albanese added, the government must introduce financial support for people during the lockdown – the first being undertaken without the support of the JobKeeper program.
Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley declined to speculate on Saturday whether the lockdown – which is expected to cost the state $ 1 billion – would be extended, but said authorities were “closely monitoring” the outbreak.
The strict measures sparked anti-restriction rallies.
There were several injuries and 14 arrests when around 150 people gathered in the CBD to protest the lockdown.
Two police officers were slightly injured when six protesters were arrested on Victoria Street, north of Melbourne.
One of the alleged perpetrators was also injured in the incident.
A total of 55 people received penalty notices for violating the instructions.
“Those who choose to blatantly disregard the instructions of the CHO and put the health and safety of all Victorians at risk can expect to be held accountable and fined,” police said. of Victoria in a press release.
Australian Associated Press