Australia, under lockdown, sees worrying jump in COVID-19 cases

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Country has fared amended than galore different developed economies successful keeping COVID-19 numbers comparatively low

medical workers administer tests astatine  the bondi formation  thrust  done  coronavirus illness  covid 19 investigating  centre successful  the aftermath  of caller   affirmative  cases successful  sydney australia june 17 2021 photograph  reuters

Medical workers administer tests astatine the Bondi Beach drive-through coronavirus illness (Covid-19) investigating centre successful the aftermath of caller affirmative cases successful Sydney, Australia, June 17, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS


Australia's 2 largest states reported crisp increases successful caller COVID-19 cases connected Wednesday, a stroke to hopes that lockdown restrictions would beryllium lifted with much than fractional the country's colonisation nether stay-at-home orders.

New South Wales (NSW) state, location to the country's astir populous metropolis Sydney, reported 110 caller cases, up from 78 the time before, astir 4 weeks into a lockdown of the metropolis and surrounding areas to incorporate an outbreak of the virulent Delta variant.

Victoria authorities clocked 22 caller cases, from 9 the time before, its biggest summation since the outbreak began this month, arsenic it nears its 2nd week of statewide lockdown.

"Had we not gone into the lockdown a fewer weeks ago, the 110 fig contiguous would undoubtedly person been thousands and thousands," said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian astatine a televised quality conference.

"But we request to enactment harder and, of course, each of america request to beryllium connected guard," she added.

Health leaders person said their top interest is the fig of radical progressive successful the assemblage earlier receiving their coronavirus diagnosis, and that the fig should beryllium adjacent zero earlier lifting lockdown.

Berejiklian said that fig jumped to 43 connected Wednesday, treble the erstwhile day, and that she could not accidental until the pursuing week whether the metropolis would exit lockdown by a July 30 target.

Overnight, NSW added 3 determination centres immoderate 250 km (150 miles) from Sydney to the database of areas nether lockdown aft a favored nutrient transportation operator tested affirmative there, raising fears of section transmission.

Read More: Australia to widen COVID-19 lockdown successful Victoria amid Delta outbreak

"We cognize each time who's going to locomotion though the door, but adjacent the locals that bash travel in, they're buying for similar 4 days, alternatively than buying for each azygous day," said Cameron Cassel, a butcher successful Blayney, colonisation 3,000.

Victorian authorities, meanwhile, said 16 of its 22 caller cases were successful quarantine during their infectious period, portion vulnerability sites for the remaining six were "reasonably low".

"That is thing that should springiness america each a grade of assurance and anticipation that this response... is working," said Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley.

A 3rd state, South Australia, location to 1.8 million, went into its archetypal afloat time of a week-long lockdown connected Wednesday, and reported six further cases.


A twelvemonth and a fractional into the pandemic, immoderate 13 cardinal Australians are nether hard lockdown, raising unit connected the national authorities which has seen its polling astatine its lowest successful a twelvemonth owed to a sluggish immunisation program. Just implicit 11% of the colonisation is afloat vaccinated.

The main vaccine successful the government's arsenal, developed by AstraZeneca has been recommended for usage lone for radical aged implicit 60 owed to a distant hazard of humor clotting, portion a vaccine made by Pfizer has been restricted to over-40s owed to constricted supply.

Under mounting pressure, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said connected Wednesday helium took work for some "regrettable" delays successful the country's vaccination rollout, but besides for the solutions to marque up for mislaid ground.

"Those delays are regrettable, we each cognize they're the effect of galore factors," Morrison told reporters successful Canberra.

"I instrumentality work for the problems that we person had, but I americium besides taking work for the solutions we're putting successful spot and the vaccination rates that we are present achieving."

He said his authorities has asked its autarkic adept panel, the Australian Technical Advisory Group connected Immunisation, to unbend its blimpish proposal connected the usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

While the sluggish vaccine roll-out has frustrated voters, the instauration of shutdowns has besides taken a toll connected Australia's A$2 trillion ($1.5 trillion) economy, which had roared backmost to pre-pandemic levels aft the archetypal upheaval of aboriginal 2020.

Data published connected Wednesday showed retail income successful June slumped 1.8% from a period earlier, astir 4 times the driblet foreshadowed by economists. read more

Morrison besides said determination would beryllium a "significant impact" connected GDP figures that volition beryllium published successful aboriginal September, though helium said proposal from Australia's cardinal slope suggested the toll would beryllium mitigated successful the pursuing quarter.

Australia has fared amended than galore different developed economies successful keeping COVID-19 numbers comparatively low, with conscionable implicit 32,100 cases and 915 deaths.

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