Australia’s biggest city, Sydney adds four weeks to lockdown as Australia COVID-19 cases grow

Australia’s biggest city, Sydney, extended a lockdown by four weeks on Wednesday after an already protracted stay-at home order failed to douse a COVID-19 outbreak, with authorities warning of tougher policing to stamp out non-compliance says reporters.

Far from a planned exit from lockdown in three
days, the city of 5 million were told to stay home until 28 of Aug following persistently high case numbers since a flare-up of the virulent Delta variant began last month. The state of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, reported 177 new cases for Tuesday, from 172 on Monday.

That is the biggest increase since an unmasked,
unvaccinated airport driver was said to have
sparked the current outbreak. The state also
reported the death of a woman in her 90s, the
11th death of the outbreak. Of particular concern, at least 46 of the new cases were people active in the community before being diagnosed, raising the likelihood of
transmission, said authorities.

The extension turns what was initially intended
to be a “snap” lockdown of Australia’s most
populous city into one of the country’s longest
since the start of the pandemic, and may spark
the second recession of the A$2 trillion ($1.47
trillion) national economy in two years,
according to economists.

According to State Premier Gladys Berejiklian statement, they have cautioned that active community transmission must be near zero before rules are relaxed.

Read what she said below…

“I am as upset and frustrated as all of you that we were not able to get the case numbers we would have liked at this point in time but that is the reality.

She also added that police would boost enforcement of wide-ranging social distancing rules and urged people to report suspected wrong doing, saying “we cannot put up with people continuing to do the wrong thing because it is setting us all back”. In one case, a mourning ceremony attended by 50 people in violation of lockdown rules resulted in 45 infections.

It was later reported that Australia has kept its COVID-19 numbers relatively low, with just over 33,200 cases and 921 deaths, out of a population of about 25 million, since the pandemic began.

To minimise the economic impact, the NSW
government said it would lift a ban on non-
occupied construction in most of Sydney.
However, it expanded a list of local government
areas within the city where the ban would stay
because of the prevalence of COVID-19 cases
there.

“It’s getting really difficult, day in and out, day by day, for us to continue running the same
business,” said Raihan Ahmed, a convenience
store owner at Bankstown, one of the main
affected suburbs. “Somehow we have to survive,
and we are trying our best.

Opinion polls have showed slipping support for
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government
amid criticism of a slow vaccination roll-out that has been blamed on changing regulatory advice and supply shortages

“There is no other shortcut, there is no other way through, we have to just hunker down and push through,’ Morrison said during a televised news conference in the national capital Canberra. All Australians who wanted to vaccination would receive it by the end of the year, and “l would expect by Christmas that we would be seeing a very different Australia to what we are seeing now’ he added.

Government said it was redirecting Pfizer Inc vaccine doses, which have so far been
restricted to people aged 40-60, from relatively unaffected regional areas to final-year school students in the worst-affected Sydney neighbourhoods.

The state and federal governments also said
they were expanding relief funding to enable
affected companies to keep paying wages
through the closure. In contrast to New South Wales, the states of Victoria and South Australia began their first day out of shorter lockdowns that halted outbreaks there.

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