Restrictions on the country’s largest city cannot stop the rise in coronavirus cases.
The prospect of a prolonged closure is approaching Sydney, as Australian health officials reported a new record daily increase in COVID-19 cases during the year, fueled by the highly infectious Delta variant.
On Monday, the state of New South Wales, where Sydney is located, reported 112 new cases of local transmission, almost all in Sydney, despite the country’s largest city entering its third week of operation. confinement.
Case numbers have been at record levels for at least three days.
State Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said most of Monday’s cases were family members or close friends of already infected people and asked residents to comply with the blocking rules, which were tightened over the weekend.
Sydney residents should not leave their home except for food purchases, clinical therapy or daily workouts.
“If you put yourself in danger, you will endanger your entire home (relationships, along with your good friends and closest affiliates,”) Berejiklian warned.
Total outbreak infections are approaching 700, less than a month since the first one was detected in mid-June.
Sixty-three people are hospitalized, with 18 in intensive care, officials said, while a 90-year-old woman became the country’s first death by COVID-19 this year on Saturday.
Criticism of slow vaccination
Blockade measures for Sydney’s five million residents, including school closures and home stay orders, have raised concerns about a slowdown in the economy, which had returned to pre-pandemic levels on first term.
Australia has previously successfully suppressed COVID-19 outbreaks through instant locks, quick contact locating and difficult social distancing rules. With a total of about 31,200 cases and 911 deaths since the pandemic began, the country has fared better than most other developed economies.
The Sydney outbreak has been scrutinized by the slow deployment of vaccines in Australia. Only 11% of Australia’s adult population, over 20.5 million, has been fully vaccinated.
Critics have pointed to the confusion of public councils and the scarcity of vaccines.
Federal health guidelines recommend that locally produced AstraZeneca vaccine be restricted to people over 60 due to blood clot problems, while the imported Pfizer vaccine is currently limited to people in their 40s and 60s.
However, authorities in New South Wales said vaccination centers and pharmacies would now be allowed to administer the AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over 40 years of age.
State officials have also recommended shortening the six-week interval between vaccination doses of AstraZeneca from the recommended twelve weeks.