Melbourne lockdown extended by a week

Sydney, Australia, Aug 11 (EFE).- Australia on Wednesday extended the sixth lockdown imposed in the city of Melbourne by a week.

The city, which has about 5 million inhabitants, was placed under confinement on Aug. 5.

A total of 20 new local Covid-19 infections were recorded on Wednesday in the city, where an outbreak in the middle of last year led to the most coronavirus cases and deaths registered in Australia since the start of the pandemic.

“There are too many cases and too many cases the origins of which are not clear to us. Too many unanswered questions, too many mysteries for us to safely come out of lockdown now,” Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews told reporters.

Australia has been experiencing an outbreak linked to the highly infectious Delta variant since mid-June.

The outbreak was initially detected in Greater Sydney, which is under lockdown until Aug. 27 and where a quarter of the 25 million inhabitants of the country reside.

In New South Wales, the capital of which is Sydney, authorities reported 344 new infections and two deaths on Wednesday.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian also ordered the lockdown of the city of Dubbo for seven days, a measure similar to those decreed in other areas of the interior of the state, due to infections linked to the outbreak in Sydney.

The government of the northeastern state of Queensland reported four local cases, all of which are in isolation, and lifted the three-day lockdown on the city of Cairns.

Australia, whose strategy against the pandemic is based on imposing brief, localized confinements upon the detection of cases, has recorded over 37,000 local cases, including 943 deaths, since the start of the pandemic.

The country, which has kept its international border closed since March 2020, is aiming to fully vaccinate 80 percent of the target population before reopening, although just 20 percent have been fully vaccinated so far. EFE


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