COVID-19 Delta Variant is causing trouble in the Central Sydney area. Reports are Central Sydney and its popular eastern beaches around Bondi were ordered into lockdown Friday as authorities try to contain an expanding outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 in Australia’s largest city.
So far Sixty-five coronavirus cases have been reported in the flare-up linked to a limousine driver infected about two weeks ago when he transported an international flight crew from Sydney airport to a quarantine hotel.
Authorities in Australia have since identified scores of potential infection sites visited by thousands of people across a swathe of Sydney, from wealthy beachside suburbs to the city’s main business district.
Health officials have been alarmed by the rapid spread of the Delta variant first seen in India, noting instances of people passing on the virus during fleeting encounters in shops and then quickly infecting close family contacts.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian of New South Wales state, which includes Sydney, called it the “scariest period” since the pandemic broke out more than a year ago.
On Friday, she ordered anyone who lived or worked in four eastern and central Sydney neighbourhoods to stay home for at least a week, only venturing out to purchase essential goods, obtain medical care, exercise, go to school or if they are unable to work from home.
The restrictions, estimated to affect around a million people, included central business district workers over fears that commuters were potentially spreading the virus into other parts of the city, Berejiklian said.
“We’ve done better than expected in terms of contact tracing and getting on top of all those links,” she said.