The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Australia caused due to the Delta variant worsened on Monday as the country’s New South Wales state recorded 112 new cases in the last 24 hours, Bloomberg reported.
This was the highest single-day rise in cases this year in the state and almost all the new infections were detected in Australia’s largest city Sydney, according to Reuters. Sydney now faces the prospect of an extension of Covid lockdown, which was earlier scheduled to end on Friday. The city has been under restrictions since June 26.
“We just want people to stay at home,” New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney. “The virus won’t spread if people don’t leave home. That is the bottom line.”
The New South Wales health department also urged people to stay at home, avoid going to offices and avail online shopping options to reduce transmission of the virus.
However, the number of newly-infected people who were not isolated immediately dropped to 34 on Monday from 45 on Sunday.
“That’s the number we need to get as close to zero as possible,” Berejiklian said during her daily televised briefing. “It is really up to us. The health expert advice will be based on what those numbers look like. I can’t be clearer than that.”
This outbreak due to Delta variant has so far caused 678 locally acquired cases since the first infection was reported on June 16, according to official data. 63 patients have been hospitalised, four of whom are on ventilation. Australia also reported its first Covid-related death this year over the weekend.
Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing criticism for failing to secure enough vaccine doses from a wide-enough range of suppliers, Bloomberg reported. According to the Johns Hopkins University, Australia has so far fully vaccinated only 8.89% of its population. The figure stands at 48.52% for the United States and 51.68% for the United Kingdom.