Army patrols Sydney streets The Australian state of Queensland extended a Covid-1 lockdown lockdown in Brisbane on Monday as troops began patrolling Sydney to enforce home stay rules as Australia struggled to stop the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus outbreak.
Queensland says it has detected 1 new Covid-1 case locally acquired in the last 2 hours, the largest one-day increase in the state in a single year.
Army patrols Sydney streets Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, was scheduled to close on Tuesday, but will now remain open until Sunday night.
“It’s becoming clear that the initial lockdown will be insufficient for the outbreak,” Queensland Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles told reporters in Brisbane.
The growing number of new cases in the country’s two largest cities comes amid growing concerns about how Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government is handling the epidemic.
Although Australia’s vaccination campaign lags behind many other developed economies, it still has its coronavirus numbers relatively low, at just under 34,400.
The death toll in Sydney has risen to 2,525 since one person died in the 1990s.
Australia is going through a cycle of uninterrupted lockdowns in several cities following the rise of the rapid delta strain, and such bans are likely to remain in place until the country reaches a higher level of vaccination coverage.
Prime Minister Morrison has promised that the blockade would be “less likely” if the country vaccinated 70% of the population over the age of 16, which is now 19%.
Morrison expects to exceed 0% by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, several areas in and around Brisbane are closed as the country’s largest city Sydney begins its sixth week with orders to stay home.
The state of Sydney-based New South Wales said on Monday it had detected 207 Covid-19 infections in the past 24 hours, as new weekly events continued near the 16-month high last weekend.
More than 3,500 infections have been recorded in the state since the outbreak began in June, when a limo driver became infected with the virus while transporting an airline crew abroad and asked military personnel to assist in the effort to enforce the ban.
About 30,000 army personnel, who will remain unarmed and under police command, began house-to-house visits from Monday to ensure that those tested positive are isolated in their homes.
Army personnel took police officers through the streets of the Sydney area where most of the Covid-1 cases have been recorded.
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The photo, posted online, shows police asking a few people found on the street why they had left their home on a large secluded street in south-west Sydney.