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Australia reports first COVID-19 death in 2021, highest case number

A pedestrian crosses an unusually quiet street in the city center during a lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Sydney, Australia, July 5, 2021. REUTERS / Loren Elliott

MELBOURNE, July 11 (Reuters) – Australia reported its first coronavirus-related death on Sunday, registering in 2021 77 new cases of the virus in the state of New South Wales, which is battling an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant. .

State Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the number in and around the country’s largest city Sydney, which is already under a severe lockdown, is expected to increase.

“I will be shocked, if there are less than 100 this time tomorrow, by further new cases,” Berejiklian told a TV briefing.

On Saturday, there were 50 cases, the previously record-breaking 2021. The recent outbreak amounts to 566 cases.

Of Sunday’s cases, 33 were people who had spent time in the community while contagious, increasing the likelihood that more than 5 million people in Sydney and the surrounding area would be extended for three weeks.

“Given where we are and given that the lockdown was to be lifted on Friday, everyone can tell that it is very unlikely at this time,” Berejiklian said.

There are 52 cases in the hospital, or about one in 10 people infected in the current outbreak. Fifteen people are in intensive care, five need ventilation. The death, which was the country’s first locally concluded case since December, involved a woman in the 90s.

Australia has fared much better than many other developed countries in keeping its COVID-19 numbers relatively low, having seen just over 31,000 cases since the start of the pandemic and 911 deaths.

However, the rollout of the vaccine has been sluggish due to supply constraints and shifting medical care for its pill AstraZeneca (AZN.L) shots.

Vaccinations are currently only available to people over 40 and risk groups, either because of their health or exposure to the virus in the workplace. Of those hospitalized in Sydney, 11 are under the age of 35 and more than three-quarters of patients have not had any doses, health officials said.

Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Clip by William Mallard and Jacqueline Wong

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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