Australia tightens lockdown measures as Sydney Covid cases rise

Sydney, Australia, Jul 9 (EFE).- Australian authorities have tightened social restrictions of the Covid-19 lockdown imposed in Greater Sydney as a new daily case record was reported Friday due the highly contagious Delta variant.

“To 8pm last night there were 44 cases of community transmission. Regrettably, 29 of those were either partially or fully exposed to the community and that is the number that is really concerning us,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

Friday’s figures represents a new daily record for community transmission in NSW, which since the outbreak was detected in mid-June, has accumulated around 450 infections, while the number of close contacts doubled from Thursday night to about 14,000.

To beat “the biggest challenge we have faced since the pandemic started,” Berejiklian announced that from Friday afternoon, the number of people who can exercise together outdoors will be reduced from 10 to two, with the exception of all members of a household who can do so together, and within a radius of 10 kilometers from the place of residence.

Only one person in a household can make essential purchases and funerals were limited to a maximum of 10 attendees in the confined areas of the greater Sydney area, and the surrounding communities, where some 6 million of the more than 25 million people of Australia live.

To monitor compliance with the restrictions and lockdown measures, the NSW Police has deployed some 200 officers to patrol the streets of southwest Sydney, a city that has been confined from June 26 to July 16 and is facing a new extension.

Australia has accumulated more than 30,950 cases, including 910 deaths, and has vaccinated 8.8 million people, although fewer than 10 percent with two Pfizer or AstraZeneca doses.

The government, which was praised for its economic and health management of the pandemic, faces severe delays in the schedule it established to vaccinate the entire population, due to delays in imports and local distribution, little diversity in its portfolio, and changes in guidelines for side effects. EFE


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