Australia’s largest city posts record daily rise in COVID-19 cases, seeks military help

54 are in intensive care, 22 of whom require ventilation. Two new deaths were recorded, taking the total number of deaths in the latest outbreak to 13. The outbreak in Sydney leaves many with little to do but watch the Olympics, and Australian athletes said they hoped they could provide a little bit of joy with their performances.

“Just extremely grateful and happy that we
maybe sparked some joy in some people’s living
rooms or something for people to celebrate in
the time of lockdown,” Spencer Turrin, Australian Rower and Gold Medallist in the Men’s Four at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics told reporters in Tokyo.

Australia’s biggest city Sydney posted a record one-day rise in local COVID-19 cases on Thursday and warned the outbreak would get worse, as authorities sought military help to enforce a lockdown of 6 million people poised to enter its sixth week.

Australia has struggled to contain an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in and around Sydney in recent weeks, which threatens to push the country’s A$2 trilion ($1.5 trillion) economy into its second recession in as many years. Despite an extended lockdown of Sydney, the state capital, New South Wales recorded 239 locally acquired cases in the past 24 hours, the biggest daily rise since the pandemic begun.

Read what Gladys Berejiklian the New South Wales Premier said below…

“We can only assume that things are likely to get worse before they get better given the quantity of people infectious in the community.

Berejiklian said one more person had died from
COVID-19, taking the death toll from the current outbreak to 13 and the overall national total to 921 With little sign that recent restrictions are reducing case numbers, Berejiklian said new curbs would be imposed on the southwestern and western areas of Sydney where the majority of COVID-19 cases are being found.

More than two million residents in eight Sydney
hotspots will now be forced to wear masks
outdoors and must stay within 5 km (3 miles) of their homes.

With even tighter restrictions set to begin on
Friday, New South Wales Police said it had asked for 300 military personnel to help enforce lockdown orders.

“With an increase in enforcement activity over
the coming week, I have now made a formal
request to the prime minister for (Australian
Defence Force) personnel to assist with that
operation, New South Wales Police
Commissioner Mick Fuller said.

All adults in Sydney have now been urged to
seek an Astraženeca vaccine. But citing rare
blood clots, many are reluctant and would prefer
to wait several months when Australia is
expected to receive additional Pfizer supplies.
Only about 17% of people above 16 years fully
vaccinated in New South Wales.
More than 2,800 cases have been detected so
far, with 182 people hospitalised.

Berejiklian on Wednesday extended the Sydney
lockdown by another month, but allowed the
majority of construction projects to resume as
long as workers do not come into contact with
residents.

The restrictions are likely to take a heavy
economic toll, with New South Wales accounting for more than a third of Australia’s economy. Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he xpected the national economy to shrink in the September quarter but the ability to avoid a technical recession would depend on whether New South Wales can avoid a longer lockdown.

Berejiklian has said restrictions need to remain
as too few people in Sydney are vaccinated amid tight supplies of Pfizer vaccines, which Canberra had hoped to inoculate everyone under 60 years old.

“With respect to the December quarter, that does depend to a large extent how successful New South Wales, our largest state economy, is in getting on top of this virus,” Frydenberg told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

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