Australia races to stem delta variant

The highly contagious outbreak has led to lockdowns in Sydney and Darwin and put other major cities on high alert.

By

World News

June 30, 2021 - 11:03 AM

Health workers conduct COVID-19 tests at the St. Vincents Hospital drive-through testing clinic at Bondi Beach in Sydney June 27, 2021, on the first full day of a two-week coronavirus lockdown to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant. (Steven Saphore/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Australian authorities are racing to contain outbreaks of the highly contagious delta strain that have forced Sydney and Darwin into lockdown and put other major cities on high alert.

The outbreak in Sydney now numbers about 130 cases, with 18 more infections announced by New South Wales state on Monday. Contact tracers are battling to keep up with a growing list of exposure sites, including some domestic Virgin Australia flights after a cabin crew member tested positive for the virus.

Residents of Greater Sydney have been ordered to stay home except for exercise, essential shopping and medical treatment until July 9, while Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, is under a snap 48-hour lockdown. Queensland state on Sunday imposed additional restrictions, while Perth and Canberra have made mask-wearing mandatory in public for the first time since the pandemic began.

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