MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia reported more than 1,900 new Delta coronavirus infections on Sunday, health data showed, as authorities struggled to quell the outbreak in the two most populous states and cases spreading to new states .
Victoria and New South Wales, which have been in lockdown for weeks, have reported 1,887 cases and 13 deaths.
The island state of Tasmania, which has not had a case for 58 days, reported a new local infection late on Saturday, and there were new cases in the state of South Australia over the weekend. end.
The state of Queensland is largely free of COVID-19 and has not reported any new infections, which allowed the National Rugby League Grand Final to begin in Brisbane on Sunday evening, although the number of spectators has been reduced to 75% of the capacity for 39,000 people.
Victoria and New South Wales are expected to open once 80% vaccination is reached, but authorities have warned the number of cases is expected to rise and hospitals will be strained as Australia will learn to live with COVID-19.
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New South Wales is hoping to hit that target in late October or early November, with Victoria a few weeks later.
“This will be the most difficult and difficult time for our nurses, paramedics and doctors,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews warned Sunday.
Australia is also expected to gradually lift its 18-month ban on international travel starting next month for some states when 80% of people aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated. As of Saturday, 56% of Australians nationwide were fully vaccinated and 80% had received at least one injection.
Australia closed its international borders in March 2020, allowing only a limited number of people to leave or citizens and permanent residents abroad to return to countries. All arriving passengers were subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period in a hotel at their own expense.
Although new cases have reached record daily levels in recent months, Australia has avoided the high number of cases in other developed countries, with just over 110,000 total infections since the start of the pandemic and 1,334 death.
(Reporting by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Michael Perry)
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