Sydney COVID-19 cases fall as curbs get easier in virus hotspots

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks past an abandoned city bridge during the morning commute hours on the first day of a lockdown as the state of Victoria tries to curb the spread of an outbreak of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Melbourne, Australia, July 16, 2021. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders

  • Prime Minister warns of more deaths in Sydney
  • Victoria logs year the largest rise in cases
  • Construction workers protest against mandatory shots

SYDNEY, September 20 (Reuters) – Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) on Monday reported the lowest rise in daily COVID-19 cases in more than three weeks as some lockdown restrictions were relaxed in Sydney, the state capital, in the midst of higher vaccination levels.

NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said 935 new cases were discovered in the state, the lowest daily count since August 27, and down from 1.083 on Sunday. The state reported four more deaths.

“we feel” more positive than we have in a few of weeks … but not me want each of us to sit back and think that’s the worst behind us’, Berejiklian told reporters in sydney, warning of more deaths in the next few days.

“Because we’ve seen the accumulation of so many cases, we know October is going to be a challenge for our hospital system.”

Almost half of Australia’s 25 million people is in lockdown after the Delta variant spread quickly in Sydney and Melbourne, the largest cities, are forcing officials there to issue a COVIDzero target and switch to rapid vaccinations to relieve curbs.

As the vaccine rollout progresses speed, with 53% of NSW’s Adult population fully vaccinated, some restrictions were relaxed on Monday in 12 of the worst-hit suburbs in Sydney’s west. Time limits for outdoor exercises were canceled while fully vaccinated people can collect outside in groups of five.

Neighboring state of Victoria, including Melbourne, registered one new death and 567 new infections, the largest daily rise this year, one day after the unveiling of the roadmap back to freedom when vaccinations reach 70%, expected around October 26. read more

So far 44% of people in the state is fully vaccinated, below the national average of 47%.

Meanwhile, several workers protested outside An union office in Melbourne against Victoria’s Mandatory Vaccination rule in the construction industry, local media reported.

Basketball of the New Zealand Breakers team, die play in Australian National Basketball League, released guard Tai Webster on Monday after he decided not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Australia has largely lived in COVID-zero for a lot of of the pandemic, met 1,167 deaths and about 87,000 cases. About 56,000 cases have been registered since half June when the first Delta Infection Detected in Sydney.

While NSW and Victoria bear the brunt of the Delta outbreak, most other states with few of no community transmission fear opening up at soon can overwhelm their hospital systems.

Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Stephen Coates and Michael Perry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Read More: World News

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