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Hope fades for end to Sydney lockdown after NSW reports record case number

A woman wearing a protective face mask walks along a waterfront path during a lockdown to curb the spread of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sydney, Australia, July 8, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Hope fades for end to Sydney lockdown after NSW reports record case number

Hope fades for end to Sydney lockdown after NSW reports record case number

A high number of COVID-19 cases in NSW is putting the scheduled end of the Greater Sydney lockdown in doubt.

The lockdown is due to end on 31 July, however on Thursday NSW reported its worst day of the current outbreak with 124 new cases of COVID.

Forty-eight of those were infectious while in the community.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the end date for the lockdown will depend on how many infections there are in the community.

“The last thing we want is to be in a stage where we keep going in and out of harsh lockdown,” she said.

“That’s not something we want for our citizens.”

Meanwhile, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard expressed his dismay at the disproportionate uptake of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.

At the vaccination centre at Sydney Olympic Park on Wednesday, 9000 Pfizer vaccines were administered compared to just 50 of AstraZeneca.

“I just think we need to take a step back and say, well, right now we are in the middle of a very serious outbreak here in NSW and we can’t afford, generally most of us can’t afford, the luxury of sitting back and saying I don’t want to have the vaccine that has actually been taken by almost every country in the world and kept other countries safe,” he said.

Here’s what else has been happening around Australia regarding COVID-19:

The PM apologises

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apologised for Australia’s sluggish vaccine rollout, after he refused to utter the words “I’m sorry” in an interview on Wednesday.

“I’m sorry that we haven’t been able to achieve the marks that we had hoped for at the beginning of this year,” he told media on Thursday.

Victoria records 26 new cases

Victoria announced 26 new cases on Thursday, with 24 of those in quarantine throughout their infectious period.

Queensland shuts its border

Queensland is closing its border to NSW entirely from 1am on Friday.

The border was already closed to hotspots in NSW, as well as to Victoria and South Australia.

It means some restrictions on gatherings in Queensland will be able to be eased.

SA records two cases

South Australia recorded two new cases on Thursday.

There are now 14 people connected with the state’s latest outbreak.

WA shuts border to SA

WA has returned to hard border arrangements with SA.

The state’s border was already closed to NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

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