New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, reported a slight increase in locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, as officials tightened restrictions to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious delta strain in several other regions.
Cases linked to the Delta strain in Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, have risen to nearly 150. Fears that the strain could cause a major outbreak has led to the imposition of general isolation measures in three major cities and some forms of restrictions in several others, affecting more than 20 million Australians, or about 80 percent of the population.
Perth, the capital of Western Australia, has entered a four-day general isolation, starting today, Tuesday, joining Sydney and Darwin. Queensland will impose a three-day general isolation in the capital, Brisbane, and some neighboring areas, starting from this evening.
“The danger is real and we have to act quickly and act hard,” Queensland Premier Anastasia Pauchcock said.
Sydney, which is home to a fifth of Australia’s population of 25 million people, is subject to a general isolation for two weeks until the 9th of July, while the isolation measures in the northern city of Darwin have been extended for another 72 hours until Friday. And the authorities impose strict restrictions in other places, which are obligating the use of masks and limiting gatherings.