Australian COVID-19 travel restrictions causing "extreme levels" of distress

Source: Xinhua| 2021-10-03 13:25:12|Editor: huaxia
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CANBERRA, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Australia's international border closure has caused "extreme levels" of distress among people separated from their friends and families, a survey has found.

Researchers from the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and Flinders University surveyed about 4,000 people on mental health linked to travel restrictions in a study published recently.

It found that 84 percent of respondents reported "high or very high levels of psychological distress" and 75 percent had "poor mental wellbeing."

International travel to and from Australia has been heavily restricted by the federal government since March 2020 to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Participants in the survey identified being separated from partners and family as the most common source of grief.

"While psychological distress was extremely high across all groups, partners who were separated and international students experienced the highest distress," authors Matthew Iasiello from the SAHMRI and Kathina Ali from Flinders wrote in the report, according to News Corp Australia on Sunday.

The study was released days after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that international travel will resume in November when states and territories hit key vaccination targets.

On Sunday, Australia reported more than 1,900 new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases as the country continues to battle the third wave of infections.

New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous state with Sydney as the capital city, registered 667 new local cases and 10 deaths.

There have been 372 COVID-19 related deaths in NSW since June 16 this year, said the statement from NSW Health.

Victoria, the second-most populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, reported a further 1,220 new local cases and three deaths.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recorded 38 new cases, only 14 of which were in quarantine for their entire infectious period.

It takes the number of cases reported over the last three days in Canberra to 142, following the record two-day run of 52 cases.

According to the latest data released by the Department of Health, 79.4 percent of Australians aged 16 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 56.5 percent are fully vaccinated. Enditem

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