SYDNEY: The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) recorded a triple-digit rise in daily COVID cases on Monday for the first time over a year, reported Xinhua.
The state recorded 112 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8 pm Sunday night, bringing the total number of cases in the latest outbreak to 678. It is the first time that more than 100 cases have occurred in a single day in NSW since April last year.
Among the new local cases, the source of infection for 48 cases remains under investigation, while 34 cases are community infections.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Sydney’s lockdown ending on Friday as originally planned is “almost impossible”, with the state recording its highest number of daily COVID-19 infections based on current case numbers.
The NSW government announced it would further ramp up its vaccination drive, with the AstraZeneca jab to be made available to all people aged over 40 at NSW mass vaccination clinics.
Teachers and aged care workers in the Fairfield, Canterbury Bankstown and Liverpool local government areas where there is greater concern of COVID-19 transmission will be prioritised.
NSW has also approached the federal government to ask that any unused Pfizer vaccines be redirected to NSW health hubs.
These changes will be complemented with the opening of three new mass vaccination centres and a large vaccination clinic in the coming weeks, adding to the 100 NSW Health vaccination clinics and outreach locations across the state.
At the same time, customers and businesses are reminded that from Monday the use of the NSW government’s COVID-Safe Check-In will be mandatory at most workplaces and retail businesses in the state.
Minister for Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello said check-in information from these additional venues is critical to supporting the work of NSW Health contact tracing teams in the fight against the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.