New South Wales sees rise in Covid-19 cases; vaccinations speed up

SYDNEY Three-quarters of people over the age of 16 in Australia's New South Wales have had at least their first vaccination dose, the state reported yesterday, along with the first rise in infections in three days.

Australia has locked down Sydney and Melbourne after outbreaks from the highly infectious Delta variant in June ended months of little or no community transmission.

The country now aims to live with, rather than eliminate, the virus once it achieves broad vaccine coverage of about 70 per cent of its adult population of 20.6 million - a goal it is expecting to reach by early November based on current rates.

New South Wales reported 1,480 locally acquired cases yesterday, up from 1,220 a day earlier. Meanwhile, cases in neighbouring Victoria dipped to 221 from 246.

Nine new deaths were recorded but rising vaccination levels among the most vulnerable mean the mortality rate of the current outbreak is 0.41 per cent, below previous outbreaks. - REUTERS