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Sydney seeks military help to stem COVID surge

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Australia has struggled to contain an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in and around Sydney in recent weeks, which threatens to push the country’s A$2 trillion ($1.5 trillion) economy into its second recession in as many years.

Despite an extended lockdown of Sydney, the state capital, New South Wales recorded 239 locally acquired cases in the past 24 hours, the biggest daily rise since the pandemic begun.

“We can only assume that things are likely to get worse before they get better given the quantity of people infectious in the community,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney.

Berejiklian said one more person had died from COVID-19, taking the death count from the current outbreak to 13 and the overall national total to 921.

More than two million residents in eight Sydney hotspots will now be forced to wear masks outdoors and must stay within 5 km (3 miles) of their homes.

The COVID-19 restrictions are likely to take a heavy economic toll, with New South Wales accounting for more than a third of Australia’s economy. Only about 17% of people above 16 years fully vaccinated in New South Wales.


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