With 60% of the population under lockdown, the country is working hard to control the spread of the virus.
On Saturday, Australia reported a record number of new coronavirus cases throughout the year, and the highly contagious delta variant continued to spread in the country’s most populous states of New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and Queensland.
Approximately 15 million people in these three states, or 60% of the Australian population, are under strict lockdown. The country has also reported 5 coronavirus-related deaths, which is one of the states with the highest number of deaths this year.
New South Wales has reported 319 new local cases of COVID-19, the most since the pandemic began in early 2020. Sydney and neighboring regional centers have crossed 200 kilometers under a six-week stay-at-home order ( 120 miles) of coastline.
State authorities stated that 345 people were hospitalized in New South Wales, of which 56 were in the intensive care unit and 23 needed ventilators.
As the virus continues to spread across Sydney’s vast suburbs, State Health Secretary Brad Hazzard expressed disappointment that people seemed to ignore restrictions and urged residents to stay at home.
Hazard told the media: “This is the most important thing you can do for all of us and yourself to ensure that we defeat this delta virus that is causing serious damage all over the world.”
Neighboring Victoria has the highest daily increase in cases this year, with 29 new infections, as the state is still under the rapid 7-day lockdown that was implemented earlier this week, which is the state’s since the beginning of the pandemic The sixth blockade.
The Premier of Victoria, Dan Andrews, urged people to comply with public health regulations and allow residents to leave their homes only when necessary for work, shopping, nursing, vaccinations or two hours of outdoor sports.
“This Delta variant spreads so quickly,” Andrews said.
“We don’t have enough people to get vaccinated. We will accept young people in the hospital, otherwise they will be healthy. If we don’t control it, our system will overspend.”
Andrews said contact tracers are still trying to trace the source of the outbreak.
“It is very, very important to see so many cases… We don’t know where these two outbreaks started.”
At the same time, Queensland has recorded 13 new cases. With one exception, the rest are in isolation and contagious. This makes people hope that the eight-day blockade in parts of the state will be lifted as planned on Sunday afternoon.
Australia has more than 36,000 COVID-19 cases and 937 deaths, avoiding the high number of cases in other developed countries, but its vaccination numbers are the lowest, with only 20% of people over the age of 16 fully vaccinated.
Now, with the lockdown efforts to eliminate the highly contagious Delta variant, the effectiveness of the government’s “COVID Zero” policy is under scrutiny.