Photo via Global News
At the beginning of February 2021, a single COVID-19 case was brought into Western Australia. Brought into the region by a hotel security guard, this case led to parts of Western Australia participating in a five day lockdown.
With a population of more than 2 million people in these areas, Western Australia has had successful prevention methods with only 902 recorded COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. Over 800 of these confirmed cases are among international travelers and less than 100 are locally-transmitted cases. The region has taken very effective measures to prevent the spread of the virus and treat all cases very seriously. Other than the recent case, there are currently only 12 active ones.
Australia itself has recorded a total of 28,811 cases, a relatively low number, compared to the United States with 27 million recorded cases. Australia has taken significant and efficient action since the pandemic spread by issuing controlled lockdowns and tight border controls. All international visitors are also required to go through testing and quarantine before entering the country.
In Australia, the southern state of Victoria was placed under a tight lockdown for almost 2 months last year due to a breakout in the city of Melbourne. This led to nine housing towers and around 3,000 residents not being able to leave their homes for any reason for 5 days without any advanced warning. This controversy caused government officials to be the light of much criticism and was said that they “breached human rights”.
Australia is continuing to maintain their strict border regulations and will hopefully not see another new COVID-19 case for a while. When asked about comparing Australia’s virus to regulations to those of the United States, junior Hagen Richter answers, “ I think the measures taken by Australia to prevent the virus were necessary, however also extreme.”
The United States has an overall bigger population than Australia making it more difficult to issue and control prevention methods.” In the United States, we also continue to maintain COVID-19 policies of social distancing, wearing masks, and other regulations to hopefully eventually get to where Australia is today as soon as possible.