Australia’s two largest states record surge in infections

SYDNEY : Australia's two largest states reported sharp increases in new Covid-19 cases yesterday, a blow to hopes that lockdown restrictions would be lifted with more than half the country's population under stay-at-home orders.

New South Wales state reported 110 cases, up from 78 the day before, nearly four weeks into a lockdown of Sydney and surrounding areas to contain an outbreak of the virulent Delta variant.

"Had we not gone into the lockdown a few weeks ago, the 110 number today would undoubtedly have been thousands and thousands," said New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

"But we need to work harder and, of course, all of us need to be on guard," she added.

Victoria state clocked 22 new cases, from nine the day before, its biggest increase since the outbreak began this month, as it nears its second week of a statewide lockdown.

The Victoria authorities said 16 of its 22 new cases were in quarantine during their infectious period, while exposure sites for the remaining six were "reasonably low".


Meanwhile, South Korea also reported a daily record of 1,784 cases for Tuesday, breaking a mark set last week, as the authorities struggled to get on top of a surge in outbreaks linked to the Delta variant.

Latest cases do not include at least 266 infections among sailors who were flown to Seoul on Tuesday after a navy destroyer patrolling the waters off Africa was found to be riddled with the coronavirus. - REUTERS