COVID-19 cases go high in Australia

2 September 2021, 2:54 pm

A man rides a bicycle as people walk on Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Florida on June 26, 2020. - They are itching for a good time after months of lockdown, and may the coronavirus be damned: young adults in Florida are fueling a dangerous rise in COVID-19 infections. Feeling immortal, these fun-crazed people are finding ways to gather and party even though many bars and nightclubs remain closed as the Sunshine State reopened its economy this month. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Australia’s Victoria state saw a jump in new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday as the government prepared to extend a hard lockdown to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant. The lockdown is due to end on Thursday but Premier Daniel Andrews has flagged an extension given the steady rise in infections.

A total of 120 new local cases were detected in Victoria on Wednesday, up from 76 a day earlier. Of the new cases, 56 are not linked to any infections in the current outbreak. Officials in Victoria, which includes Melbourne, had promised easing of some restrictions if cases remained low and vaccination rates rose.

A meeting of senior state ministers overnight discussed if a night curfew could be removed and playgrounds opened if there was no spike in cases, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported without citing a source. Neighbouring New South Wales (NSW), home to Australia’s largest city of Sydney, is also struggling with a Delta outbreak despite more than two months of lockdown. Cases have topped 1,000 in the state for the past four days.