Restrictions in the largest city in the United States have failed to stop the rising number of coronavirus cases.

As Australian health officials report that, driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, the number of new cases of COVID-19 this year has once again risen to a record high, so the prospect of extending the lockdown period has enveloped Sydney.

On Monday, New South Wales, where Sydney is located, reported 112 new locally transmitted cases, almost all in Sydney, although the country’s largest city entered its third week blockade.

For at least three days, the number of cases has been at a record level.

State Governor Gladys Berejiklian (Gladys Berejiklian) said that most of the cases on Monday were family members or close friends of those who had been infected, and pleaded with residents to abide by the tightened lockdowns over the weekend.

Sydney residents are not allowed to leave their homes unless it is for food, clinical treatment or daily exercise.

Berejiklian warned: “If you put yourself in danger, then you are endangering your entire family-relationships, and your closest friends and affiliates-in danger.”

The total number of infections in this outbreak is close to 700, less than a month after the first infection was discovered in mid-June.

Officials said 63 people were hospitalized, 18 of them were in the intensive care unit, and a woman in her 90s became the country’s The first COVID-19 death case This Saturday.

A woman wearing a mask pushes a stroller on Bondi Beach, Sydney [Bianca De Marchi/AFP]

Criticism of slow vaccination

The lockdown measures against 5 million residents in Sydney, including school closures and stay-at-home orders, have raised concerns about a slowdown in the economy, which has returned to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter.

Australia has previously successfully suppressed the COVID-19 outbreak through rapid lockdown, rapid contact tracing, and strict social distancing rules. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been approximately 31,200 cases and 911 deaths in the country, which has outperformed most other advanced economies.

The outbreak in Sydney has put Australia’s slow vaccine launch under scrutiny. Only 11% of Australia’s adult population of over 20.5 million have been fully vaccinated.

Critics point out that the public recommendations are confusing and vaccine shortages.

Federal health guidance recommends that, due to thrombosis, locally produced AstraZeneca vaccines are limited to people over 60 years old, while imported Pfizer vaccines are currently limited to people 40 to 60 years old.

However, the authorities in New South Wales stated that vaccination centers and pharmacies will now be authorized to vaccinate AstraZeneca for anyone over 40 years old.

State officials also recommend shortening the interval between AstraZeneca vaccination doses from the recommended 12 weeks to 6 weeks.


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