SYDNEY — The nation’s eyes are on the south-eastern Australian state, New South Wales, after the state recorded its highest daily number of Covid-19 cases since the current outbreak began, with warnings the situation will worsen.
Of the 50 cases identified in the 24 hours, 37 were active in the community for some or all of their infectious period.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the numbers suggested things would get worse before they got better.
The state is also seeing more young Covid-19 patients in intensive care than it has before, she said.
Berejiklian pleaded for honesty towards contact tracers and obedience to lockdown rules.
“The length of this lockdown is up to each one of us,” she said.
“When people do not tell us the truth or withhold from us what is happening, it just lasts longer.”
Kerry Chant, New South Wales Chief Health Officer, once more urged residents to get vaccinated.
Delivery of Pfizer doses to Australia is set to rise to about one million doses a week from July 19, with 4.5 million expected to be available over August.
An advertising campaign will be launched as the supply increases, and some 1300 more GPs will join the rollout.
Other states are watching New South Wales carefully, keen to avoid the virus leaking across borders.
More police are now manning Victoria’s New South Wales border, with more than 300 officers involved in patrols, traffic management, spot checks, and vehicle intercepts.
Victoria’s coronavirus testing commander Jeroen Weimar has warned the state could soon wholly close off to its northern neighbor.
He told Victorians in regional New South Wales to come home or risk being shut out.
The first locally contracted Covid death of the year was reported by Australia and a 2021 record of 77 new cases of the virus in the state of New South Wales.
However, the cases dropped from 45 to 34 on July 11.
Outdoor gatherings have been limited to two people, and only one person in a household can leave home each day to buy essentials. Australia has previously successfully suppressed sporadic flare-ups of infections through snap lockdowns, speedy contact tracing, and strict social distancing rules.
As per World Health Organization, there have been 31,103 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 910 deaths. However, Australia has fared better than many other developed economies.
The slow vaccine rollout and the highly transmissible Delta variant have sparked concerns about a significant outbreak in the community.
As of June 27, 2021, a total of 7,500,700 vaccine doses have been administered in Australia.
(Edited by Amrita Das and Saptak Datta)
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