© Reuters. On July 28, 2021, to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sydney, Australia, a lone bird walked past the quiet Circular Quay train station during the lockdown. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
By Renju Jose and Colin Packham
Sydney (Reuters)-Australia’s largest city announced a record-breaking increase in local COVID-19 cases in a single day on Thursday. Authorities warned that although the 6 million people who are about to enter the sixth week are locked down, the epidemic will worsen.
In recent weeks, Australia has been struggling to control the highly contagious delta virus that broke out in Sydney and its surrounding areas, which may push the country’s A$2 trillion ($1.5 trillion) economy for the second time in many years. decline.
Despite the long-term lockdown of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, 239 cases of local infection have been recorded in the past 24 hours, which is the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began.
New South Wales Governor Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney: “Given the number of contagious people in the community, we can only assume that the situation may get worse before it improves.”
Berejiklian said that another person died of COVID-19, bringing the death toll from the current outbreak to 13 and the total death toll in the country to 921.
There are few signs that the recent restrictions are reducing the number of cases. Berejiklian said that new restrictions will be implemented in the southwest and western areas of Sydney where most COVID-19 cases have been detected.
More than 2 million residents in eight hotspots in Sydney will now be forced to wear masks outdoors and must stay within 5 kilometers (3 miles) of their homes.
Berejiklian extended the lockdown in Sydney for another month on Wednesday, but allowed most construction projects and senior students preparing for exams to return to campus.
These restrictions may cause heavy economic losses, with New South Wales accounting for more than one-third of the Australian economy.
Federal Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg (Josh Frydenberg) said that he expects the national economy to shrink in the September quarter, but whether a technical recession can be avoided will depend on whether New South Wales can avoid a longer blockade.
Friedenberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation: “For the December quarter, this will largely depend on the success of our largest state economy, New South Wales, in fighting this virus.”
Berejiklian has said that in the tight supply of vaccines, there are too few people vaccinated in Sydney. Pfizer (New York Stock Exchange:) Vaccines, Canberra had hoped to vaccinate everyone under the age of 60.
All adults in Sydney have now been urged to seek the AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:) vaccine. But taking the rare blood clot as an example, many people are unwilling and would rather wait a few months because Australia is expected to receive additional Pfizer supplies.
In New South Wales, only about 17% of people over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated.
To date, more than 2,800 cases have been detected and 182 people have been hospitalized. 54 people are in the intensive care unit, 22 of whom need ventilation. Two new deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of deaths from the most recent outbreak to 13.
($1 = 1.3561 Australian dollars)
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