- Sydney’s COVID-19 lockdown extended by one month
- Curfew imposed on Sydney’s 2 million residents
- Victoria State warns it is “on the edge”
SYDNEY / CANBERRA, Aug. 20 (Reuters) – Two million Sydney residents will be subject to a nighttime curfew from next week to slow the highly infectious variant of the Delta coronavirus which is spreading in the state of Nova Scotia -South Wales, authorities said on Friday as they extended lockdown orders.
Australia’s third wave of COVID-19 infections, centered in Sydney, forced more than half of the population of nearly 26 million people into lockdown and pushed the world’s 13th largest economy to the brink of its second recession in so many years. Read more
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian extended the Sydney lockdown until the end of September and imposed new restrictions, including curfews, the requirement to wear a mask outside and limits on the exercise.
“I asked the health and the police to work together, to give me a final list of what we can do about it, to leave no doubt that we are serious about reducing the growth rate, number of cases, ”Berejiklian said at a press conference.
A 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew would go into effect from Monday in the 12 worst-hit communal areas, covering around 40% of Sydney’s 5 million people. Anyone caught entering these areas would be fined and required to self-isolate for 14 days.
With a similar curfew already in place in Melbourne, more than a quarter of Australia’s population will be confined to their homes overnight from Monday, with the exception of essential workers.
NSW state reported 644 new infections on Friday, most of them in Sydney. Daily cases across New South Wales have topped 400 in the past seven days despite an eight-week lockdown in Sydney, Australia’s largest city.
With only around 28% of people over 16 fully vaccinated, Australia has failed to contain the Sydney epidemic which has now spread cases in other cities in Australia as well as in New Zealand. Zealand. Read more
The Australian state of Victoria has registered 55 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and has warned it is at risk of being overwhelmed with infections.
“We’re about to move away from us and it’s not because contact tracing isn’t doing all they can. They are. It’s not because we didn’t lock in fast enough. We did it, ”Victoria Premier Daniel said. Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.
Australia’s capital Canberra is also on lockdown, with 16 cases recorded in the past 24 hours out of a population of around 430,000, authorities said.
ON THE EDGE
The Lifeline Australia suicide prevention hotline said there had been a 40% increase in calls in recent days compared to the pre-pandemic period.
“What it shows is the level of anxiety, the increased levels of anger in the community, and of course the stress and pressure,” Lifeline Australia president John Brogden told the ABC channel.
Australia has recorded just under 12,000 infections since the first Delta case was reported in Sydney on June 16. Four new deaths were confirmed in New South Wales on Friday, bringing the total to 65 in the latest outbreak.
Even so, high vaccination levels among Australia’s most vulnerable mean the death rate is 0.54%, according to official data, lower than previous outbreaks.
Despite a third wave of Delta variant infections, the number of COVID-19 in Australia is relatively low, with some 42,100 cases and 975 deaths.
($ 1 = $ 1.4025 australia)
Reporting by Renju Jose in Sydney and Colin Packham in Canberra; Editing by Stephen Coates
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