Australian city notches grim Covid world record

Melbourne has claimed the unwanted title of the world's most locked down city amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, officially surpassing the previous record held by Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires.

Melbourne has now endured 246 days living with stay-at-home orders, spanning six lockdowns since the start of last year.

The longest lockdown Victoria's capital endured was the second, which went for 111 days, from July until October in 2020, as the state battled a second wave of Covid-19.

Buenos Aires was in lockdown for some seven consecutive months last year and then a short lockdown from May 21 to May 31, accounting for 245 days in lockdown in total.

Melbourne has been in lockdown for more days than any other city in the world. Source: AAP
Melbourne has been in lockdown for more days than any other city in the world. Source: AAP

However if all goes according to plan and the lockdown ends October 26 when Victoria is expected to hit 70 per cent vaccination coverage, the Aussie state will rack up a total of 267 days with stay-at-home orders in place.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says he is proud of the sacrifices Melburnians have made over the pandemic and is calling on them to make a final push before lockdown ends in the coming weeks.

"We are going to get past this," he said on Sunday.

"We are going to end this lockdown and open up, and all that we will enjoy then will be a result of all that we have given."

Melbourne's lockdown finish line in sight

On Sunday, Victoria recorded 1,220 new Covid cases, with 36,248 vaccine doses administered in that time.

Mr Andrews is hopeful the reduction of the second dose Pfizer interval in state-run clinics from six to three weeks from Monday will speed up meeting those targets.

Source: GettyVictoria's lockdown is expected to end by the end of the month.
Victoria's lockdown is expected to end by the end of the month. Source: Getty

It comes after intensive care nurses made an impassioned plea for Victorians to get vaccinated.

There are 476 Victorians in hospital battling the virus, up 48 from Saturday, with 98 people in ICU and 57 requiring a ventilator.

Royal Melbourne Hospital ICU nurse unit manager Michelle Spence said patients were "begging" for the vaccine before being placed on life support, including a man in his 30s with no underlying conditions.

According to Burnett Institute modelling, hospitalisations are expected to hit 1,200 to 2,500 after daily cases peak at up to 2,900 in mid- to late-October.

A "second epidemic peak" in mid-December is also forecast after restrictions ease, which could push hospitalisations over 2,500.

with AAP

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