Australia extends Brisbane, regional Queensland lockdown

Sydney, Australia, Aug 2 (EFE).- The Australian authorities on Monday extended the lockdown of Brisbane, the third most populous city in the country, along with 10 other southeast Queensland areas until Sunday, after reporting 13 new Covid-19 cases.

Some 3.8 million inhabitants of Queensland, including in Brisbane and the tourist resort areas of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, have been locked down since Saturday due to an outbreak of the Delta variant that totals 31 community infections.

Health authorities, who hope that the eight days of confinement will allow all contacts to be traced and quarantined, do not know how the virus jumped from two travelers who arrived in Brisbane from Indonesia and the United Kingdom.

“I don’t know where the missing link is. All I know is that we had two people arrive from overseas into the Brisbane International Airport on June 29, and subsequently, those two people were found to have the Delta variant with a particular whole genome sequence, and now this outbreak, 29 additional people later, are all clustering with those two,” Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said.

Australia has been facing a crisis for about seven weeks due to an outbreak of the Delta variant that was detected in mid-June in Sydney, and that leaked to other parts of the country, although the spread was mostly controlled by rapid and strict lockdowns.

New South Wales on Monday reported 207 cases and one death from the outbreak in Sydney, the most populous city in Australia and which is still in lockdown along with other surrounding communities until Aug. 27.

The country, which has kept its borders closed since March 2020, has accumulated almost 34,500 infections of Covid-19 and 925 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

It has administered first vaccine doses to 40 percent of its adult population, out of a total of more than 25 million, and 19 percent are fully inoculated. EFE


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