(AFP) .- Millions of residents of Sydney will spend another month in quarantine, authorities announced Wednesday, in the face of a growing covid-19 outbreak and low vaccination rates in Australia.
The largest city in Australia was scheduled to exit the shutdown on July 30, after five weeks, but the restrictions will remain until August 28, given the increase in the number of infections.
“I personally understand what we’re asking people to do the next four weeks, but it’s because we want to keep our community safe and we want to ensure that we can recover as quickly as possible, ”said New South Wales Head of State Government Gladys Berejiklian.
The authorities announced 177 new cases linked to the Sydney outbreak, which began in mid-June when a limo driver who transported the crew of an international flight caught the virus.
Berejiklian said the police will intensify efforts to enforce the measure and urged the population to report those who do not abide by the rules.
“We really need people to always do the right thing. Don’t let your guard down ”, he asked.
The announcement came at a time when Melbourne ended its fifth lockdown for the virus, after containing an outbreak of the Delta variantaccording to the head of the Victorian state government, Dan Andrews.
Australia has been praised for its success in containing the pandemic, closing its borders early and eradicating sources of contagion.
But with a poorly vaccinated population, it has struggled to contain the contagious Delta variant, originally detected in India.
About 13% of Australians have been vaccinated due to a low supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and skepticism around the AstraZeneca.
The country registered more than 33,000 infections and 921 deaths from covid-19, in a population of 25 million.