The lockdown of Australia’s largest city, Sydney, due to the coronavirus pandemic, was extended on Friday, and a nighttime curfew was imposed in the hardest-hit parts of the city.
Under the new ruling, the lockdown, which would have expired on August 28, will remain in effect until September 30.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters that more restrictions were needed, including the wearing of masks in public, because more than 600 new infections were recorded in the state for the third consecutive day.
Berejiklian reported 644 infections on Friday, most of them registered in the state capital, Sydney. Four deaths have also been reported.
In the past seven days, the number of infected people per day has risen to more than 400 in the city despite the eighth week of lockdown.
In neighboring Victoria, 55 new cases were confirmed. Health authorities fear the outbreak of the epidemic. Daniel Andrews, the state’s premier, was quick to point out that authorities cannot conduct new infections, stressing that contact research is ongoing and that everything is being done to curb the pandemic.
In Canberra, 16 new cases have been recorded in the past 24 hours, with about five per cent of the capital’s population in quarantine.
Although Australia has so far successfully dealt with the epidemic, the third-wave delta variant has pushed the number of infections up again, and the shortage has put the world’s thirteenth most powerful economy on the brink of deflation.
About 42,100 infections and 975 deaths have been reported in the country since the outbreak, but only about 28 percent of the population over the age of 16 is still receiving two doses of the vaccine.
At a press conference in Canberra, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said they are working to speed up the vaccination campaign, noting for example that more than 300,000 vaccines have been administered in two consecutive days.
Netbook: Joel Carrett