Sydney sees the worst outbreak of Delta Variant since the COVID 19 pandemic began.
On Thursday, Sydney reported five deaths and a steady rise in COVID 19 cases despite being under a strict lockdown for weeks now. The authorities are struggling to contain the spread of the highly contagious Delta strain of the coronavirus. This Delta virus outbreak is proving to be “an epidemic of younger people,” Prof Greg Dore, an infectious diseases doctor with St Vincent’s hospital in Sydney, told the Guardian.
There are currently 290 COVID-19 cases admitted to the hospital, with 51 people in intensive care, 24 requiring ventilation. There were 106,954 COVID-19 tests reported to 8 pm last night, compared with the previous day’s total of 105,578, the NSW Health said in a Tweet.
Four of the five people that died were unvaccinated, whereas one had taken a single dose, New South Wales state health authorities said. This brings to 21 the number of COVID-related deaths during the current outbreak.
The authorities also announced a week lock lockdown from Thursday in the region of the city of Newcastle after six cases were reported there.
After this lockdown, an additional 615,000 people would be under lockdown, raising the total in New South Wales under strict stay-home restrictions to an estimated 6 million people of the 8 million in the state.
Authority Reaction to the Breach
The authorities suspect a beach party near Newcastle caused the outbreak after people traveled from Sydney violating the city’s lockdown rules.
“Our strongest focus … is getting to the bottom of how the disease was transmitted and introduced into Newcastle,” New South Wales Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant told CNN, as most cases were still being detected in Sydney, the state capital and Australia’s largest city.
New South Wales has witnessed more than 4,300 cases during the latest surge that began seven weeks ago after the first case of the Delta variant was detected in an unvaccinated, unmasked limousine driver transporting overseas airline crew.
NSW Health also issued a press release on Tuesday to announce a number of new casual contact venues associated with confirmed cases of COVID-19.
National COVID Scenario of Australia
Australia has avoided the high caseloads of other developed countries with 35,200 COVID-19 cases and 932 deaths. The vaccinations are still among the lowest, with only 20 percent of its population over 16 fully vaccinated. Authorities are imploring people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
From July 30th, NSW Health began offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people aged 18 and over in vaccination clinics throughout greater Sydney. Since the younger population is more at risk, close to 40,000 Pfizer doses are being redirected from NSW Health’s rural and regional supply to year 12 students in the southwest and western Sydney.