The death comes when New South Wales recorded a record number of new infections and authorities warned of more cases.
Australia has announced its first coronavirus-related death of the year as authorities in the state of New South Wales struggle to contain an outbreak of the highly infectious variant of Delta.
The 90-year-old woman died hours after testing positive for COVID-19, officials said Sunday.
His is the first death from a locally acquired infection in Australia this year and occurred when NSW recorded 77 new cases of the virus.
State Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian told reporters that figures are expected to rise in the country’s largest city, Sydney, which is already under heavy closure.
“Tomorrow I will be surprised if tomorrow makes less than 100, of additional new cases,” he said.
On Saturday, 50 cases were recorded, the highest record of the previous 2021. The recent outbreak is 566 cases.
Of Sunday’s cases, 33 were people who had spent time in the community while they were infectious, which increases the likelihood of extending the closure of more than five million people in and around Sydney for three weeks.
“Given where we are and the blockade was due to be removed on Friday, everyone can say it is very unlikely at this stage,” Berejiklian said.
There are 52 cases in the hospital, or about one in ten people infected in the current outbreak. Fifteen people are in intensive care, five require ventilation.
Australia has fared much better than many other developed countries in keeping its COVID-19 numbers relatively low, seeing just over 31,000 cases since the start of the pandemic and 911 deaths.
However, the launch of vaccination has been slow due to supply restrictions and changes in medical advice for its main features of AstraZeneca.
Vaccines are now only available to people over the age of 40 and at-risk groups, either because of their health or exposure to the virus at work.
Of those hospitalized in Sydney, 11 are under the age of 35 and more than three-quarters of patients have not had a single dose, health officials said.