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Brisbane joins Sydney in lockdown as COVID-19 spreads in Australia

Health workers prepared to collect swab samples at a COVID-19 drive-through testing clinic in eastern Brisbane.PATRICK HAMILTON/AFP via Getty Images

Brisbane joined Australia’s biggest city of Sydney in lockdown after the discovery of six new cases of the delta variant of the coronavirus in Queensland’s state capital.

In Sydney, the epicenter of the county’s outbreak, there were 210 new locally acquired infections in the 24 hours to 8 p.m. on Friday, state health authorities said. That’s up from 170 a day earlier.

The deployment of about 1,000 police officers in Sydney deterred anti-lockdown demonstrators after a violent protest last weekend. New South Wales state Deputy Police Commissioner Michael Willing said 85 people had been charged over last weekend’s event.

Queensland’s lockdown covers the most populous area of the state’s southeast and took effect at 4 p.m. local time, according to state Deputy Premier Steven Miles.


The lockdown, which is due to last three days, forced the cancellation of matches in the Australian Football League and the National Rugby League, which had been relocated to Queensland because of the impact of the virus elsewhere.

Sydney’s outbreak has put the city into a lockdown that will be implemented for at least nine weeks. It was extended this week for a third time, until Aug. 28. There have been 3,190 locally acquired cases reported in the current Sydney outbreak since mid June.

Australia Sets 70% Covid Vaccination Target to Start Reopening

Australia’s federal government said Friday the country would begin reopening and avoid snap lockdowns once 70% of the entire adult population has been fully vaccinated.

The country’s vaccine rollout has been tardy in comparison with other developed nations such as the U.S. and U.K., with only enough doses to cover 23% of the population administered.

Meanwhile, Victoria state’s heath department reported two new locally contracted cases of the virus. It also said checks of wastewater in the east and west of Melbourne showed fragments of Covid-19, which could be from an active and undiagnosed case, or from someone who is no longer infectious.


(Updates with police deployment in Sydney from third paragraaph..)

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