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乐通合作伙伴: COVID-19 cases climb in Australia's most populous areas

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A police vehicle is seen near Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, July 18, 2021. Rising COVID-19 cases sparked tougher restrictions with more retail closed in Australia's state of New South Wales (NSW), the epicenter of the country's current outbreak, on Saturday. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)

SYDNEY, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Australia's most populous states along the east coast are struggling with climbing COVID-19 cases as the country's two biggest cities both plunged into lockdown.

As Sydney prepares for its fourth week in lockdown, the state of New South Wales (NSW) recorded 97 locally acquired cases in the 24 hours till 8:00 p.m. local time Thursday. The latest outbreak in NSW has now resulted in 1,026 local cases.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian raised concern over 29 cases that were in the community, telling residents to expect a spike over the weekend.

"I am assuming, because in the last 24 hours at least 29 of those 97 cases were infectious in the community, the numbers tomorrow will be greater than what we saw today... There is no doubt the numbers are not where we would like them," she said.

Berejiklian also said the authorities will not hesitate to "go harder" if current restrictions fail to curb the numbers.

Meanwhile, the state of Victoria on Friday recorded 10 new local cases at the first day of a five-day snap lockdown on the city of Melbourne, of which four were already announced on Thursday.

"You only get one chance to go hard and go fast. If you wait, if you hesitate, if you doubt, then you will always be looking back wishing you had done more earlier," said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.

Melbourne's lockdown will see stricter restrictions than Sydney, allowing only five reasons to leave home, to shop for food and essential items, provide or receive care, exercise, work or study if they are unable to from home, and to get vaccinated.

After confirming support from the federal government, Victoria announced on Friday support payments of 200 million Australian dollars (about 150 million U.S. dollars) to help impacted businesses through the lockdown.

The state of Queensland to the north of NSW and Victoria on Friday declared Victoria as a COVID-19 hotspot and shut its border.

Queensland also recorded one new local case in hotel quarantine, who was thought to be "zero risk" to the community, but the authorities already detected two outbreaks of the highly infectious Delta variant in the state's southeast and warned the residents to take the virus "extraordinarily seriously."

The government on Thursday already extended restrictions including mask-wearing on parts of southeast Queensland for one more week. Enditem

[ Editor: JYZ ]

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