Australia's prime minister says, 'I apologise,' in response to a surge of Covid-19 cases

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Even as reports of the virus pandemic begin to escalate amid lockdown, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned to his people on Thursday for the delayed implementation of the Covid-19 vaccine programme. 

Talking to reporters, Morrison said, “I’m sorry that we haven’t been able to achieve the marks that we had hoped for at the beginning of this year.”

The government has been administering less than 150,000 Covid-19 vaccination shots per day, lagging well behind many other affluent nations. On Wednesday, the daily infection rates in two of the country's major states, New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria, increased dramatically. While NSW, which includes Australia's biggest city Sydney, saw 110 new cases – up from 78 the day before – Victoria saw 22 new cases.

“Had we not gone into lockdown a few weeks ago, the 110 number today would have undoubtedly been thousands and thousands,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said during a televised news conference on Wednesday.

 Berejiklian has also urged the people of NSW to get vaccinated and “brace” amid anticipations that “case numbers will continue to go up before they start coming down”.

She also noted that resulting in an increase in coronavirus symptoms, it would not be known if NSW will be able to lift the quarantine by the July 30 deadline till the next week.

Because millions more Covid-19 vaccine dosages from Moderna and Pfizer are scheduled to be delivered in the following weeks, the Australian government also said that it would fulfil its objective of vaccinating its adult population by the end of 2021.

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