Tough choice for Covid zero countries: open up or be a hermit kingdom

Experts warn of ‘Covid limbo’ for nations like Australia that have self-isolated to stay free of widespread infections

03 June 2021 - 20:19 By Jason Gale and Kurumi Mori

“Covid zero” countries that used strict border controls to keep the coronavirus largely at bay for more than a year risk being stuck in limbo and increasingly isolated unless vaccination rates pick up, public health experts said.

A protective bubble that’s kept Australia’s Covid-19 fatalities to less than 1,000 is unsustainable, Greg Dore, an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist with the University of New South Wales’ Kirby Institute in Sydney, said. The country needs to overcome complacency and ramp up immunisations to reach “disease immunity”, where Sars-CoV-2 no longer poses a major threat, he said during a QuickTake discussion broadcast live on Twitter Thursday...

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