More than 13 million Australians – almost half the population – are in lockdown after a third state imposed restrictions to contain the Delta outbreak. South Australia, home to 1.7 million people, joined Victoria and parts of New South Wales in lockdown on Tuesday.

Its residents will stay at home for seven days after five infections are found.

Anger is mounting in Australia over the lockdown strategy, with the two biggest cities Sydney and Melbourne facing uncertainty as to when they will open. The lockdown has been heavily policing to ensure compliance with the rules. Until recently, Australia was widely praised for its strategy of border closures, quarantine programs and snap lockdowns. There have been less than 1,000 Kovid deaths in this.

But the rapid spread of the highly infectious Delta variant has created new challenges and exposed Australia’s poor vaccination rate. Residents should not step out of their homes except for grocery shopping, exercising and for other essential reasons. Construction sites and specialty retail stores have also been closed.

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