Canberrans are no closer to learning when they will leave lockdown despite ACT registering its lowest case numbers since mid-August.
Prime Minister Andrew Barr has warned that it is too early to celebrate yet, after Canberra registered the lowest number of new cases since August.
ACT registered seven new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 on Monday, all linked to other known cases or transfer sites. Four cases spent some time contagious in the community.
Five people, between the ages of 12 and 70, are in hospital and in need of treatment. Two people are in intensive care.
But Mr Barr said it was too early to declare the decline in cases a trend.
It comes as the territory reached a major milestone in the vaccine with 80 percent of Canberrans vaccinated with at least one dose of Covid-19-jabben-55 percent of residents fully vaccinated.
However, Canberrans is nowhere near knowing when the restrictions will be eased, with Mr Barr telling reporters that the “clear” advice was to wait until 80 percent of the population was fully vaccinated to avoid straining the territory’s hospital system.
“We are not yet able to provide the level of security that we would like,” the prime minister said.
“We now have a much clearer picture of the significant risks associated with moving too fast by 70 percent. The clear advice is that it is wise to wait until 80 percent before making major changes. ”
Further information on easing restrictions will be announced on 1 October.
The prime minister warned that it would be “naive” to think that the ACT’s healthcare system would not face the same “extreme pressure” that Victoria and NSW have experienced in its transition from lockdown.
“We are also very focused on the capacity of our healthcare system, the impact of the cross-border demand on our healthcare system coming from regional NSW, and I note that both NSW Premier and Victorian Premier have been very clear that they expect demand to on their health systems will be unlike anything Australia has ever experienced before, ”he told reporters.
“Extreme pressure is coming to NSW and Victoria’s healthcare systems … and it would be naive to think that the ACT system is not coming under pressure as well.”
He said that as the ACT moves through the phases outlined in the national plan, Canberrans could expect collection sizes to rise beyond a gradual return to office buildings and students to schools – when it was safe to do so.
But Mr Barr pointed out that the easing of restrictions could stop at any time if the law faced “significant outbreaks”.
The total number of cases linked to the current outbreak has increased to 625.
Health Chief Kerryn Coleman said 401 people have recovered from Covid-19 and 224 cases remain active.
Originally released as Canberra records the lowest number of cases since August