Sydney, Australia, Aug 19 (EFE).- Australian authorities Thursday extended the confinement of the entire rural area of New South Wales for another week, following an increase in Covid-19 infections in aboriginal towns.
The New South Wales rural area confinement, which initially ran for a week starting Saturday, was extended to Aug. 27, the same date on which stay-at-home orders for Sydney and surrounding areas are due to end.
Despite the long lockdown in Sydney, which began on Jun. 26, the delta variant continues to spread.
Australian authorities maintain a policy of harsh restrictions and confinement by zones when the first cases are detected.
New South Wales reported 681 local infections and one death Thursday, mostly in Sydney, there were 25 infections in the rural area of ??the west of the state.
New South Wales Government Head Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney that rural areas of greatest “concern” are Wilcannia, with a population of 745 people, the majority Aboriginal, and the city of Dubbo, where 15 percent of its 35,000 inhabitants are indigenous.
Australian authorities believe the delta variant outbreak in this ??New South Wales area occurred when an infected person traveled to a remote community to attend a funeral for a young Aboriginal man.
Infections have since reached 167 in rural western New South Wales, most of them among indigenous people, who have underlying health problems as well as low vaccination rates.
The delta variant, detected in mid-June in Sydney, has also spread to Victoria, which reported 57 local cases Thursday in Melbourne, which remains confined and under curfew until Sep. 2.
The Australian Capital Territory, which includes Canberra and is also under lockdown, reported six community infections Thursday, while in the rest of the country, more than 12 million people are under restriction measures or live a normal practice,
Australia, which is fighting its third Covid-19 wave, has registered more than 41,000 cases and 971 deaths, and vaccinated 25 percent of its population with the full course.