COVID-19: Despite Sydney’s lockdown, the Delta epidemic in Australia increases.
According to Australian health experts, the highly contagious Delta form has fueled yet another record daily surge in COVID-19 infections for the year.
SYDNEY: On Monday, the possibility of a long-term lockdown in Sydney loomed as Australian health officials announced yet another daily increase in COVID-19 infections for the year, fueled by the extremely contagious Delta strain.
Despite the fact that Sydney is in its third week under lockdown, the state of New South Wales recorded 112 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, virtually all of them in Sydney. For at least three days, the number of cases has been at an all-time high.
However, there was some good news: the number of newly infected persons out in the community while infectious fell to 34 from 45 on Sunday.
Gladys Berejiklian, the state premier, said the development of that figure in the coming days will determine if Sydney’s lockdown, which was set to expire on Friday, would be prolonged.
During her daily televised briefing, Berejiklian stated, “That is the figure we need to reach as near to zero as possible.” “It’s all up to us. The health experts’ recommendations will be based on such figures. That is all I have to say about it.”
The bulk of Monday’s cases, according to Berejiklian, were family members or close acquaintances of people who had previously been infected, and he urged locals to follow the lockdown restrictions, which had been strengthened over the weekend.
The outbreak’s total illnesses now approaching 700, less than a month after the first was discovered in mid-June. Officials say 63 individuals are in hospitals, with 18 in critical condition, and a lady in her 90s is the country’s first COVID-19 mortality this year.
Lockdown measures, such as school closures and stay-at-home orders for Sydney’s five million inhabitants, have fuelled fears of a downturn in the economy, which had rebounded to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter.
In reaction to the mobility limitations, Debbie Brincat has reduced the hours of operation at the pet business she owns with her husband Andrew in the western suburb of Fairfield to only four hours each day.
Andrew’s Bird & Pet Palace, which the couple has run for over 40 years, had sales of A$150 on Sunday, compared to an average of more than A$3000 ($2,245).
Brincat told Reuters she was “extremely worried right now” and wasn’t sure if the company would be eligible for government funding.
COVID-19 flare-ups have previously been effectively controlled in Australia using snap lockdowns, rapid contact tracing, and strict social distance restrictions. The country has fared better than many other wealthy economies, with about 31,200 illnesses and 911 fatalities since the epidemic began.