Covid: Sydney cases top 2 000 a day

Despite the recent outbreaks, Australia's Covid-19 numbers have remained relatively low at around 63 000 cases and 1 044 deaths - helped by hard lockdowns and border restrictions.

07 September 2021 | International

NAMPA-REUTERS







SYDNEY

Sydney, the epicentre of Australia's biggest coronavirus outbreak, is expected to see daily infections peak next week, authorities said yesterday as they look to speed up immunisations before easing lockdown rules.

Australia is trying to contain a third wave of infections that has hit its two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, and its capital Canberra, forcing more than half the country's 25 million people into strict stay-at-home restrictions.

New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian said the government's modelling revealed the state would require its highest number of intensive care beds in early October, with "additional pressure on the system" in the next few weeks.

Daily cases in Sydney's worst-affected suburbs are expected to rise to as high as 2 000 until the middle of this month, the modelling showed.

"If too many of us do the wrong thing, (if) there are too many super-spreading events, we could see those numbers higher," Berejiklian said during a media briefing in Sydney, the state capital.

A total of 1 071 Covid-19 cases are currently in New South Wales hospitals, with 177 people in intensive care (ICU), 67 of whom require ventilation. Officials have said they had quadrupled ICU beds to about 2 000 in the state early last year to handle the pandemic.

The state reported 1 281 new cases yesterday, most of them in Sydney, down from 1 485 a day earlier. Five new deaths were recorded.

Victoria state, which includes Melbourne, reported 246 new cases yesterday, its biggest daily rise of the year.

Relatively low

Despite the recent outbreaks, Australia's Covid-19 numbers have remained relatively low at around 63 000 cases and 1 044 deaths - helped by hard lockdowns and border restrictions.

But businesses have had to bear the brunt, with Australia on the brink of a second recession in as many years.

Melbourne's giant observation wheel, part of the city's skyline for more than 15 years, will close permanently due to Covid-related "travel restrictions and sustained shutdowns", its operator said.

Australian Industry Group, meanwhile, has warned the country could face power blackouts in summer if quarantine-weary workers refuse to cross state borders for repairs and maintenance.

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