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Lockdown crackdown: Sydney police to step up enforcement after COVID record

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Lockdown crackdown: Sydney police to step up enforcement after COVID record

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SYDNEY – Australian authorities on Tuesday vowed to increase vigilance on the anti-COVID lockdown rules in Sydney, but dismissed suggestions that tougher measures were needed, including a curfew, after the city reported its highest number of new cases in a single day to date.

With more than five million residents of Australia’s largest city now locked up for more than six weeks, Sydney reported 343 new infections in an outbreak fueled by the spread of the highly communicable Delta strain of COVID-19, 66 more than on the day. front and top. the last peak of a day established on Saturday https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/australia-daily-covid-19-2021-record-high-with-millions-lockdown-2021-08-07 .

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Tighter policing in the worst hit areas has divided Sydney https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/we-are-not-virus-two-tier-delta-lockdowns-divide-sydney- 2021-08-10 and fueled resentment in some of Australia’s most immigrant-populated neighborhoods.

Authorities in the state of New South Wales (NSW), home to Sydney, also announced three deaths from the virus, all unvaccinated. A total of 357 cases are in hospitals, 60 in intensive care, 28 of which require ventilation.

Amid questions about the effectiveness of the Sydney shutdown, under which residents are supposed to stay home and avoid essential movements, New South Wales authorities said police were asked to step up controls on how many people were allowed inside the little shops at the same time they were there. you still see “a lot of unnecessary movement of people”.

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“What worries me is the overcrowding in shopping malls and places where we have seen broadcast events in small stores,” state health director Kerry Chant told reporters.

Neighboring Victoria reported 20 new cases, compared to 11 the day before, and 15 of Tuesday’s infections spent time in the community, raising the possibility of a prolonged lockdown in Melbourne, the country’s second-largest city. beyond Thursday.

‘COME TO CHRISTMAS’

With just under 36,700 cases and 942 deaths, Australia has handled the pandemic much better than many other developed economies. But the Delta variant has ruined Australia’s reopening plans as authorities seek to accelerate the deployment of vaccines that critics of Prime Minister Scott Morrison https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/australia-pms -ratings- hit-pandemic-low-amid-lockdowns-2021-08-08 has been criticized for being too slow and ineffective.

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Morrison said Tuesday that Sydney was in a “tough fight” with the Delta variant, expecting the country to return to near normalcy by the end of this year, when all Australians over the age of 16 are offered at least one dose. vaccine according to your plan.

“I want Australia to come to Christmas, I want everyone to be around that table at Christmas,” Morrison said in Canberra.

As many prepare for months of disruption, organizers of the Australian International Airshow in Avalon on Tuesday canceled the biennial show scheduled for November due to “increased uncertainty created by the impacts of the Delta variant.” The show had already been postponed from February.

In the short term, New South Wales officials have set a target of six million vaccinations by the end of the month, when the Sydney shutdown is scheduled to end, if restrictions are to be eased. So far, more than 4.5 million vaccines have been administered in total, with more than 23% of people over the age of 16 fully vaccinated, slightly more than the national figures.

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“That is why we have had a sense of urgency about the jab … because that gives us the opportunity to see what people can do in September and October,” State Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

Economists expect the lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne to have tipped the country’s $ 2 trillion ($ 1.5 trillion) economy into a second recession in as many years, with a contraction expected for the quarter through September.

“There are big challenges for the economy, but I want people … to be confident, optimistic and know that there will be light at the end of the tunnel,” Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Seven News. (Reporting by Renju Jose and Byron Kaye; Edited by Jane Wardell and Kenneth Maxwell)

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In-depth reports on the economics of innovation from The Logic, presented in association with the Financial Post.

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