Australia's Sydney Extends Lockdown With 97 New Cases Recorded


Australia's Sydney extends lockdown with 97 new cases recorded

SYDNEY, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Jul, 2021 ) :Australia's state of New South Wales (NSW) on Wednesday announced to extended the lockdown on the Greater Sydney and surrounding areas for at least another two weeks until 11:59 p.m. July 30.

The decision came after the state recorded 97 locally acquired cases in the past 24 hours to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night, out of 65,000 tests conducted overnight.

Among the 97 new local cases, 24 cases were in the community during their infectious period.

"We are constantly reviewing the health advice, and will continue to update the community if any changes are required," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Health Minister Brad Hazzard said in a statement.

"This means the restrictions currently in place across Greater Sydney including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour will remain in place until this time." The online learning for students will also continue for another two weeks.

"That is the number, the 24 number is what we need to get down to as close to zero as possible, before we end the lockdown," said Berejiklian.

Health authorities are very concerned with the situation in Fairfield in southwest Sydney, the current epicentre of the outbreak, as 70 of the 97 cases were detected in southwest Sydney, and "most of those" were in Fairfield.

The government already announced to impose tougher restrictions to the area, including mandatory testing for people going out of Fairfield for essential working, in a bid to limit unessential movement and cut down local transmission.

Residents in the area were reported waiting six to eight hours for testing overnight.

NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said additional resources were deployed to the area to help bring the situation under control.

At the same time, the neighboring state of Victoria recorded eight new locally acquired cases on Wednesday with two chains of transmission detected. Among the new cases, seven cases will be included in Thursday's official figures.

An Australian Football League game held in Melbourne was listed as an exposure site with thousands of people being contacted and told to isolate and get tested.

Victoria's COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar said this is a "rapidly moving situation", and the authorities are racing the clock to "get a very firm grip" of the situation.