New South Wales (NSW) reported 112 locally acquired Covid-19 cases on Monday, its biggest daily rise for this year, as capital city Sydney endures a hard lockdown for the third week to contain a Delta variant outbreak.
Of Monday’s cases, at least 34 spent time in the community while infectious, the state’s Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.
She said many of the latest infections were passed between family members and close friends who met despite a ban on meeting anyone outside your household.
“If you put yourself at risk, you’re putting your entire family – and that means extended family, as well as your closest friends and associates – at risk,” Berejiklian warned.
Australia reported its first locally contracted coronavirus death this year on Sunday – a woman in her 90s. She died in Sydney after contracting the virus in a family setting.
There was, however, a glimmer of light as the number of newly-infected people who were out in the community while infectious dropped to 34 from 45 on Sunday.
Australia has recorded 911 deaths and more than 31,000 cases since the pandemic began last year., it has fared better than many other developed economies.
Australia has used lockdowns and swift contact tracing to combat outbreaks of the virus when it has breached the nation’s strict border defences.
However, the highly transmissible Delta strain and a sluggish vaccine roll-out have stoked concerns of a significant outbreak. Only around 11 per cent of Australia’s adult population of more than 20.5 million have been fully vaccinated so far.