Australia’s largest city is working hard to contain the outbreak that began in June, as the number of cases in New South Wales hit a record high for the second day in a row.

Australian authorities have begun distributing emergency supplies of COVID-19 vaccine in the suburbs of Sydney, an area that has been most affected by the rapidly spreading Delta variant virus outbreak as New South Wales reports another record high in daily cases.

State Governor Gladys Berejiklian said that as the city is battling its worst outbreak since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the speed of vaccination in Australia’s largest city on Thursday offers some hope.

“The next few weeks will be tough, but there is no doubt that once we have a high vaccination rate, life will feel much better and it will look better,” Berejiklian told reporters.

“I know this is a challenging time, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Berejiklian said there were 681 new local infections on Thursday, most of which occurred in Sydney, surpassing the daily high of 633 the day before set on Wednesday. Approximately 119,000 people came to be tested.

The recording of another death-a man in his 80s-brought the death toll from the outbreak first detected in mid-June to 61.

Officials are racing to increase vaccination rates in New South Wales in response to the spread of the virus and as a prerequisite for relaxation of lockdown measures.

Berejiklian has not officially extended the shutdown period. The current shutdown period will expire at the end of this month, but has made it clear that 70% of the state’s population over 16 must be vaccinated. She expects this goal to be at the end of October.

Approximately 28.5% of people in New South Wales have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the authorities are now selecting the worst-hit suburbs for vaccination [File: Loren Elliott/Reuters]

About 28.5% of people in the state are currently fully vaccinated, slightly higher than the national figure, while about 52% have at least one dose.

Officials will allocate more than half of the emergency supply of Pfizer vaccines purchased from Poland (equivalent to about 500,000 doses) to the 12 most affected suburbs in Sydney. They will be used to vaccinate people under 40 in the next two weeks. vaccine.

Live with Delta

More than half of Australia’s 25 million people live under lockdown measures, including Sydney, Melbourne and the capital Canberra.

Although the country as a whole is affected by the pandemic-with only more than 41,400 cases and 971 deaths-is much lower than in many other countries, it turns out that the latest epidemic is more difficult to control.

On Thursday, cases in Melbourne, the country’s second largest city, more than doubled to 57 cases. Canberra has reported 16 new cases.

The epidemic also spread to New Zealand, where health officials confirmed that the genome sequencing was linked to Sydney.

After announcing 11 new cases in the past day, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that analysis showed that the current positive cases were very close to those who had flown in from Sydney on August 7.

The person tested positive for COVID-19 on August 9 and was transferred to an isolation facility. A week later, he was transferred to the hospital.

“This is a major development. This means that now we can be fairly certain how and when the virus entered the country,” Ardern said at a press conference.

Health officials warn that Australia is prone to more deaths and hospitalizations given that only 27.5% of the national population is fully vaccinated. About half of the population received at least one dose.

National leaders are increasingly divided on methods of responding to the pandemic. Some are still pushing for elimination, while others are advocating finding acceptable levels of exposure.

“Everyone must learn to live with Delta and New South Wales, and we learned this earlier than others,” Berejiklian said.


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