Residents of Sydney will be put on lockdown for another week as the country’s largest metropolis battles a Covid epidemic.
As it fights the highly transmissible Delta strain, the New South Wales government said it has made the “tough decision.”
On June 26, a stay-at-home order was issued.
However, clusters have formed after some afflicted persons left their houses for basic necessities.
The outbreak, which has 330 cases, is the city’s worst this year.
On Friday, a stay-at-home order covering more than five million people in Greater Sydney, Wollongong, and the Central Coast was set to be withdrawn. It has been extended until July 16th. Next week, schools will be closed as well.
Officials, however, said the daily case count – which reached 27 new cases on Wednesday – and low vaccination rates meant the restrictions needed to be prolonged.
Only about 10% of Australians are fully vaccinated. Due to a shortage of vaccines, particularly the Pfizer vaccine, many Australians will have to wait until the end of the year to get vaccinated.
“We want to give ourselves the best chance of ensuring that this is the only shutdown we have until the vast majority of our population have been vaccinated,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Wednesday.
“We don’t want to be in a scenario where we have to alternate between lockdown and no lockdown all the time.”
Australia is battling the Delta Virus.
The recent epidemic of the Delta strain in Australia has been most severe in Sydney, though instances have spread across the country.
Last week, virus leaks from hotel quarantine forced state capital city lockdowns, affecting half of the country’s population, including Brisbane, Darwin, and Perth.
Last week, authorities in those areas were able to contain the virus and lift the lockdowns.
When the virus has breached Australia’s tight border defenses, the country has deployed lockdowns and rapid contact tracing to combat epidemics.
However, with 910 deaths and fewer than 31,000 cases, the country’s Covid statistics have remained low.