Australia's Melbourne Extends Sixth Lockdown As Delta Variant Rages.

Australia's Melbourne Extends Sixth Lockdown As Delta Variant Rages

Melbourne and surrounding Victoria state were scheduled to exit a four-week lockdown on Thursday

Melbourne:

A lockdown of Australia's second-biggest city Melbourne will be extended, authorities announced Sunday as they struggle to quash a stubborn coronavirus Delta variant outbreak.

Almost seven million people in Melbourne and surrounding Victoria state were scheduled to exit a four-week lockdown on Thursday, but state premier Dan Andrews said it would no longer be possible with case numbers rising by 92 overnight.

It is the city's sixth lockdown of the pandemic, and includes a curfew, the closure of playgrounds and strict limits on exercise.

"We still have too many cases in the community for too long for us to be able to open up and give back... those freedoms that we cherish and those freedoms that we desperately want back," Andrews said.

Andrews did not reveal how long stay-at-home orders would remain in place, saying officials would "look at all the different options".

Meanwhile neighbouring New South Wales state, which includes Australia's most populous city of Sydney, posted 1,218 new cases on Sunday -- pushing the country's overall daily caseload to a fresh all-time high.

Almost 19,000 cases have been detected in the state of about eight million people since the Delta variant outbreak began in mid-June.

But with vaccination rates now surging in New South Wales and authorities predicting 70 percent of adults there will be fully vaccinated by October, residents weary of prolonged restrictions have been promised some modest freedoms.

In non-hotspot areas, five fully vaccinated adults will be able to gather outside for up to an hour from mid-September while authorities have also signalled small weddings will soon be allowed.

Australian leaders have agreed on a national roadmap for reopening the country once vaccination targets of 70 and 80 percent are reached in each state and territory.

The nation has recorded more than 51,000 cases of Covid-19 and almost 1,000 deaths in a population of 25 million since the start of the pandemic.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV News

NDTV.com provides latest news from India and the world. Get today’s news headlines from Business, Technology, Bollywood, Cricket, videos, photos, live news coverage and exclusive breaking news from India.

https://www.ndtv.com/

Related news

All-Civilian Crew «Healthy, Happy And Resting» : SpaceX.

SpaceX's all-civilian Inspiration4 crew are "healthy, happy and resting comfortably," the company said Thursday in its first update since the pioneering mission blasted off from Cape Canaveral the...

NDTV News

Hurricane Nicholas hammers Texas coast

Hurricane Nicholas hammers Texas coast

The Category 1 storm made landfall south of Houston on Monday night, and the storm surge flooded roads. The storm is now threatening Louisiana with up to 20 inches of rain across the state.

Tropical Storm Nicholas Slams Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Nicholas Slams Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Nicholas slammed into the Texas coast as a hurricane with more than 90 mph winds, ripping asphalt off of roads and swallowing streets in rain. Nicholas is now expected to move across several southern states over the next few days.  ...

Blinken Faces Bipartisan Criticism Of Chaotic Afghanistan Withdrawal.

Blinken Faces Bipartisan Criticism Of Chaotic Afghanistan Withdrawal.

Republican and Democratic Senators have criticized Secretary of State Antony Blinken as he testified on Capitol Hill for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. In Kabul, young women are already seeing their rights rolled back under Taliban rule. » ...

Biden Tours Energy Lab, Focus on Clean-Energy Plan

Biden Tours Energy Lab, Focus on Clean-Energy Plan

President Joe Biden tried to advance his domestic spending plans Tuesday by touring a renewable energy lab in Colorado to highlight how his clean-energy proposals would help combat climate change and create good-paying jobs along the way. READ MOR...

Biden Pushes $3.5 Trillion Climate Change Solution

Biden Pushes $3.5 Trillion Climate Change Solution

Situation described as ‘code red’ in ambitious federal proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

California voters most concerned about COVID pandemic, first exit polls show.

California voters most concerned about COVID pandemic, first exit polls show.

The coronavirus pandemic is the most important issue for voters in California's recall election, early polling data shows. Other top matters of voters' minds include homelessness, the economy and wildfires. CBS News elections and surveys director ...