Covid-19: Sydney faces ‘scariest period’ in pandemic amid Delta outbreak – News Vibe24

    Covid-19: Sydney faces 'scariest period' in pandemic amid Delta outbreak - Times of India
    SYDNEY: Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), reported double-digit increases in newly locally acquired Covid-19 cases for the third day in a row as officials struggled to curb the outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant.
    “This is probably the scariest time New South Wales has been going since the pandemic began,” Prime Minister Gladys Berriciklia told reporters in Sydney.
    The NNO has imposed severe restrictions on Sydney, Australia’s largest city and home to one-fifth of the country’s 25 million people, with health officials saying the transmission could take place even through minimal contact with infected people.
    NNO officials have so far resisted calls for a hard lock, although Australia has a good record of successfully suppressing outbreaks of the past through closed locks, harsh social distance rules and quick contact detection.
    Australia has reported about 30,400 cases and 910 deaths since the pandemic began.
    Berejiklian said that although the virus variant was highly contagious, her government was “at this stage comfortable” with the current level of restrictions.
    Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan has urged NNO authorities to lock the state down to “crush and kill” the virus, warning that “light-touch” restrictions could increase infections. Western Australia closed its border with the NSW.
    NSW authorities have imposed mandatory masks on all indoor locations in Sydney, including offices, barred residents in seven council areas east and west west of Sydney from leaving the city and limiting house gatherings to five to limit the state’s first outbreak to more than a month.
    The state has effectively isolated itself from the rest of the country after some states, such as Western Australia, hit their borders, while others introduced strict border rules.
    Eleven new local incidents were reported on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections in the latest outbreak to more than 40. Thursday’s figures include six cases identified after the 8pm deadline, which will be included in Friday’s schedule.
    The NNO state parliament on Thursday released a limited list of politicians allowed to enter the chamber after Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall tested positive for Covid-19 and Health Minister Brad Hazard in isolation, after being considered a possible close contact.
    The state of Victoria, which shares a border with NNO, said on Thursday that its first case was most likely linked to the NNO outbreak, when a man in the 1960s was positive after returning from Sydney. He mentioned another case earlier in the day related to an existing complex.
    The state of Queensland reported three new local cases, but officials said the infections posed a low risk to the community, as they were isolated when they became infected with the virus.
    Neighboring New Zealand did not report any new local cases on Thursday, a day after rising warnings in the capital Wellington over exposure concerns after an Australian tourist positive for Covid-19 on his return to Sydney after a visit on Saturday.
    Wellington moved to a “level 2” warning or shortly before the lock, until midnight on Sunday as a precaution against a possible outbreak.


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