A Delta outbreak that began in June has produced nearly 3,000 infections and led to nine deaths.
Australia is now using its military to enforce a lockdown in Sydney after the city of 6 million posted a record daily rise in COVID-19 cases on Thursday and state authorities said the outbreak was likely to get worse.
Sydney ordered a shutdown of all construction sites and non-essential retail.
Nearly 1 million residents are banned from leaving their neighborhood for work because a man in his 80s died from/with Covid.
Despite an extended lockdown in Sydney since an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant, 239 new locally acquired coronavirus cases were recorded in the city over 24 hours, the biggest daily rise since the pandemic began.
“We can only assume that things are likely to get worse before they get better given the number of people infected in the community,” said Gladys Berejiklian, the premier of New South Wales state, of which Sydney is the capital.
Residents, there will be forced to wear masks outdoors and to stay within five km (three miles) of their homes.
With even tighter restrictions set to begin on Friday, New South Wales Police said it had asked for 300 military personnel to help enforce lockdown orders.
Beginning Monday, the 300 troops will patrol Sydney and knock on doors to make sure people are following orders to stay at home.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said an 80% vaccination rate is needed before reopening Australia’s largest city – Only 14% of people in Australia are fully vaccinated.
“If you get vaccinated, there will be special rules that apply to you. Why? Because if you’re vaccinated, you present less of a public health risk. You are less likely to get the virus. You are less likely to transmit it,” the prime minister told reporters, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.