More than 100 arrests in Australia for anti-confinement protests

Sydney, Australia, Aug 31 (EFE).- At least 135 people were arrested Tuesday in Sydney, the epicenter of the third wave of Covid-19 in Australia, and other parts of the country for participating in small “silent” street protests against measures imposed to contain the virus.

The 69 demonstrations coordinated through social networks were held in front of the New South Wales State Parliament, based in Sydney, as well as local councils of this city, according to a police statement.

Other groups also gathered, many without masks, in towns in New South Wales, as well as the neighboring states of Queensland and Victoria, according to videos posted on social media.

The demonstrations had been organized initially, and separately, by truckers to protest mandatory vaccination for those residing in Sydney and essential workers moving between New South Wales and the neighboring state of Queensland.

These demonstrations follow recent protests in late July and mid-August that drew thousands of people in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively, in which there were some altercations with the police.

Australia is fighting a delta variant outbreak detected in Sydney in mid-June, which forced Sydney and its surrounding communities to be confined on Jun. 26, and progressively to other parts of New South Wales.

This jurisdiction, the most populous in Australia, reported 1,164 local infections and three deaths Tuesday, most of them in Sydney, which has registered more than 18,000 active cases since the beginning of this outbreak.

Victoria, which reported 76 community infections, plans to announce this week the extension of its confinement, while the Australian Capital Territory, with 13 Covid-19 patients, extended it for two more weeks.

Australia, which has seen more than 53,500 coronavirus cases and 1,005 deaths, has administered the complete Covid-19 vaccine dosage to less than 35 percent of its adult population with a view to immunizing 80 percent of its population to reopen international borders that closed in March 2020. EFE


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