Police boost presence in Sydney to enforce Covid-19 lockdown

Sydney, Australia, Jul 8 (EFE).- The Australian police will boost its presence in the popular neighborhoods of southwest Sydney starting Friday to enforce the lockdown imposed in the country’s most populated city due to a Covid-19 outbreak linked to the highly contagious Delta variant.

Sydney, under lockdown between Jun. 26 and Jul. 16, reported 38 new Covid-19 infections on Thursday, most of them in the southwest neighborhoods, which have a significant population of immigrants and essential workers.

“Those numbers are too high,” the premier of New South Wales (NSW), whose capital is Sydney, Gladys Berejiklian, told reporters, referring to the latest number of infections, the highest reported in this jurisdiction since the start of the pandemic.

Later, NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mal Lanyon announced the “very visible presence” of an extra 100 police officials in southwest Sydney “to ensure compliance with all Covid-19 public health orders.”

The announcement of the special operation in the southwestern neighborhoods, where a low number of people get tested for the virus, sparked criticism of the alleged difference in treatment between the exclusive and working-class neighborhoods of the city.

“Police operations weren’t launched for the eastern suburbs or northern beaches when outbreaks occurred there. But they have been now for southwest Sydney. Authorities must be proportionate in using their powers,” Former Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said on Twitter.

The outbreak in Sydney, which has recorded almost 400 infections, was detected in mid-June, when it was reported that a driver who transports overseas airline crew members from Bondi, a popular tourist hotspot in east of the city, was infected with the Delta variant.

Australia, where Covid-19 outbreaks occur when the virus leaks into the community from quarantine centers for overseas travelers, has recorded almost 30,900 infections, including 910 deaths, and has almost 500 active cases.

The Australian government has administered the first dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines to more than 8.7 million people of its over 25 million inhabitants, although only seven percent of the population is fully vaccinated. EFE


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