Despite negative media coverage, countries around the world are successfully opening to travel & resuming their events. Vaccination has played its part in their paths to recovery and Australia is now playing catch up.
As the USA opens up, media has widely reported a corresponding increase in daily COVID cases. However, it has failed to report that the link between cases and deaths in the USA has been broken, as the graph below (worldometers.info/coronavirus) clearly illustrates.
On the 19th July the UK celebrated its much publicised “Freedom day” with most restrictions being lifted by its government. News outlets such as the ABC and BBC didn’t miss the opportunity to share the concerns of some medical experts, who predicted a corresponding exponential rise in infections – possibly up to 200,000 a day. However, infection rates dropped by 50% in just 10 days and there has been no coverage on the success of the vaccination program. On the 28th July the UK opened up to vaccinated travellers from the USA and Europe.
Singapore is one hundred times smaller than Australia and is the third most densely populated country in the world. Of its 5.7 million population there have been just 37 COVID deaths since March 2020, which is five times lower than mortality rate of Australia.
The number of daily reported COVID cases has recently increased from double figures, to 136 as of 28th July. This has been described as a ‘surge’ by the media and some government leaders. However, there has been just one COVID related death in the past month – an 83 year-old unvaccinated lady who didn’t seek medical attention for two days before going to hospital and had a history of high blood pressure and Hyperlipidaemia, which is one of the main risk factors for heart disease and stroke.
Singapore has started to open up to international travel and is accepting short term tourists & business travellers from certain countries, albeit with conditions.
Each of these 3 countries has vaccination rates of over 50% of their population, but as of 28th July 2021 New Zealand and Australia has each achieved vaccination rates of just 13%. No leader wants the be responsible for their region being considered parochial and inward looking by the rest of the world, and we are now seeing an accelerated effort in Australia to roll out vaccines in order to open up its economy and enable travel & events. New Zealand will be watching closely and keen to avoid Australia’s mistakes.