New South Wales reported at least 11 new cases overnight, as the Prime Minister hints at a possible new blockade if the rise continues.
The government of New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state, on Thursday warned people to defend more cases of COVID-19 as a state minister tested positive, the minister of Health self-isolated and new limits designed to curb the spread of the Delta variant came into force.
The state recorded at least 11 new cases overnight, bringing the total number of current outbreaks to 49.
At least 36 of the cases have been traced at an event in the Bondi beach neighborhood.
Among them was NSW Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall, who confirmed his positive result in a statement on Thursday.
His comrades in the state parliament received the news with concern and alarm.
At least three other members of the state parliament had also attended an event with Marshall Monday night at a restaurant where someone later confirmed he was positive and linked to the Bondi cluster.
Earlier on Thursday, NSW State Health Minister Brad Hazzard told the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) that more cases are to be expected.
Hazzard told the utility that he had been targeted in isolation after it was considered possible close contact from a positive case.
“On the verge of another blockade”
Wednesday, NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said Sydney was on the verge of another closure while officials try to track down the missing links in the city’s newly diagnosed cases.
As part of the state’s contact tracking effort, the state government stepped up mass testing with 48,402 tests on Wednesday, up from the previous day’s 44,640 people.
Berejiklian told parliament that his government “will not hesitate to go further and stronger if we have to do so” with restrictions.
Sydney, the state capital and home to one-fifth of Australia’s 25 million people, has been effectively isolated from the rest of the country after some states closed their borders while others tightened rules. input.
On Wednesday, Queensland closed the land border with NSW due to the emergence of new cases.
Also Wednesday, the NSW state government imposed new movement restrictions, banning travel outside the Sydney metropolitan area, while requiring residents to continue wearing face masks in public areas until next week. .
Visitors to private homes have also been limited to five, while the capacity for sporting events has been halved.
NSW officials have warned that transmission of the Delta variant, first detected in India, could be faster and take place even after minimal contact with an infected person.
So far, there have been instant blockages, difficult social distancing rules, and quick contact tracking. helped Australia successfully suppress past outbreaks.
The country has been one of the most successful in the world in containing the pandemic, which has allowed it to reopen the border with New Zealand.
But new cases test the travel bubble among neighbors.
As of Thursday, Australia had recorded more than 30,300 cases and 910 deaths since the pandemic began in 2020.
To date, there have been 6.72 million doses of vaccine administered across Australia with 1.09 million people, 4.3% of the country’s total population, fully vaccinated, according to Our World Data.