The strict stay-at-home order will last until July 16, and Sydney schools will switch to distance learning next week.

After detecting dozens of new coronavirus cases, authorities announced on Wednesday that residents of Australia’s largest city will be quarantined for at least another week.

Sydney is home to one-fifth of Australia’s 25 million people Enter locked state On June 26, the highly transmissible Delta variant broke out. Although the strict stay-at-home order will end in the city on Friday, it will now last until July 16.

New South Wales Governor Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney: “This Delta strain has changed the rules of the game. It is extremely contagious and is more infectious than any other form we have seen. Viruses are more contagious.”

She said: “The reason why we extended the lockdown is that there are still many cases in the community that are contagious. We don’t want to be in a position where we must constantly move between lockdowns, no lock, lock, no lock.

On Wednesday, New South Wales reported 27 new local cases of COVID-19, up from 18 a day ago. Of the new cases, 20 were in isolation during the entire or part of the infection period, while 7 cases spent the infection period in the community.

Berejiklian stated that the extension (including the closure of schools) is “to ensure that this is our only lockdown measure before the vast majority of citizens are vaccinated.”

So far, only 9% of Australian adults have been fully vaccinated, which adds to concerns that the Delta variant may spread quickly and become uncontrollable.

Last week, almost Half of Australia’s population After being blocked, cities on the east, west, and north coasts tightened pandemic restrictions due to clusters. Some of these blockades lasted as short as three days.

Sydney and its surrounding areas are the only areas in Australia that are still under lockdown.

The city is fighting the worst epidemic so far this year. Since the first case was detected in the suburb of Bondi Beach three weeks ago, the number of infections has exceeded 350 after a limousine driver driving an overseas crew tested positive.

On July 6, 2022, health workers in protective gear undergo COVID-19 testing at St. Vincent’s Hospital Drive-in Clinic in Bondi, Sydney [Bianca De Marchi/AFP]

Berejiklian and health officials warned residents of Sydney that they expected an increase in cases in the next 24 hours and urged residents of three areas in the west of the city (Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool) to avoid leaving. Their homes and visit indoor areas.

Kerry Chant, Chief Health Officer of New South Wales, said: “Please stay at home…Don’t visit your loved ones. Try to interact digitally.” “Try to avoid any unnecessary contact with other families and limit your activities. In any indoor environment. So only one person goes shopping.”

At the same time, after the southern hemisphere winter vacation ends on Friday, Sydney schools will switch to distance learning from next week to eliminate the crowding when parents pick up their children.

Throughout the pandemic, Australia was relatively successful in controlling clusters, with fewer than 31,000 registered cases and a total of 910 deaths.

Since October, the country has recorded a COVID-19 death: an 80-year-old man died in April after being infected overseas and diagnosed in a hotel quarantine.

But now there are 37 cases of COVID-19 in Sydney Hospital. Seven of them are in the intensive care unit, and the youngest is in his 30s.

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