Sydney’s two-week lockdown has been extended for another week due to the vulnerability of an Australia population largely unvaccinated against COVID-19, officials said on Wednesday.
“The situation we’re in now is largely because we haven’t been able to get the vaccine that we need,” New South Wales state Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
The decision to extend the lockdown through July 16 was made on health advice, state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
“The reason why we’ve extended the lockdown is because of a number of cases still infectious in the community and we extended the lockdown to give us the best chance of not having another lockdown,” Berejiklian said.
The extension of the lockdown, which covers Australia’s largest city and some nearby communities, means most children will not return to school next week following their midyear break.
Of 27 new infections of the delta variant reported in latest 24-hour period on Wednesday, only 13 had been in isolation while infectious, officials said. The delta variant is considered more contagious than the original coronavirus or other variants.
Only 9% of Australian adults are fully vaccinated, heightening fears that the delta variant could quickly spread beyond control.