Sydney: The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) saw another disastrous day with a record daily high of 356 new local cases and four deaths on Tuesday.
What is more concerning is around one third of the new locally acquired cases were in the community while infectious.
Among the four deaths, three cases were linked to the current outbreak triggered by Delta variant and one case got infected overseas, NSW Health said.
Despite the climbing local transmission, the government is reluctant to further tighten restrictions. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she would not take “any strategies that aren’t going to work” and is against the idea of imposing a ring of steel around the epicentre areas in southwest Sydney.
Berejiklian said the current restrictions for the eight local government areas in western and southwest Sydney had prevented a further skyrocketing of new infections, saying strong suppression works as there are no hundreds of thousands of cases and deaths.
“That gives us a chance to see what people can do in September and October but it is really important to ensure we provide the vaccine, targeted strategy to reduce the spread especially among key worker groups.”
In the neighbouring state of Queensland, police have warned residents living in the bordering areas with NSW to expect greater enforcement of border restrictions facing the growing transmission. Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Steven Gollschewski said residents would be aware of the situation and not travel unless absolutely necessary.
“We will increase operational capabilities there to ensure we are intercepting higher numbers of people coming across,” he said.
Meanwhile, the state of Victoria recorded 20 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, as its regional areas enjoy the first day out of lockdown.