MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Australian state of New South Wales reported a drop in daily new coronavirus cases on Sunday, following two days of record infections in 2021, as authorities implored Sydney residents to follow suit. rules to be able to end the closure next week.
Australia’s most populous state recorded 16 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, data showed Sunday, of which 13 were already isolated. That was down from 35 new cases on Friday, the most daily cases so far this year for that state, and at 31 on Thursday.
“While the overnight numbers are very encouraging, we know they have the potential to rebound. The next few days are absolutely critical,” New South Wales State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said at a news conference.
Australia has handled the coronavirus pandemic better than many other nations due to strict lockdowns, quick contact tracing, and strict social distancing rules.
But an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in recent weeks has alarmed authorities amid a slow nationwide vaccination campaign, shutting down three state capitals last week.
Sydney, the capital of the state of New South Wales and home to a fifth of Australia’s 25 million people, has been particularly hard hit by the latest outbreaks of the Delta variant. Residents are in the middle of a two-week shutdown.
“If people do the right thing, we have a better chance of getting out of this in a timely manner,” he said.
Three of the NSW cases were detected at the SummitCare nursing home in Sydney’s Baulkham Hills, but residents were fully vaccinated and showing only mild symptoms, the home said in a statement released to local press.
Elsewhere in Australia, residents of Queensland’s state capital Brisbane emerged from nearly a week of lockdown as the state recorded only one new locally acquired case.
“This is excellent news,” State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said at a news conference.
“It seems like everything is under control at the moment, so we are very, very relieved about that.”
Perth, the capital of the state of Western Australia, ended its closure on Friday night, but the restrictions remain in effect until Tuesday. Melbourne, the capital of the state of Victoria, has registered zero cases for almost a week after a three-week shutdown in June.
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