Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW) maintained its downward trend in new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, but authorities have asked people to be on “high alert” after cases outside the current virus cluster were discovered.
A cluster discovered on the beach in Sydney’s northern suburbs in mid-December has now grown to 129 cases, and by Jan 9, around a quarter of a million residents have been locked down while authorities struggle to fight the virus.
NSW reported three cases between 24 hours and 8 p.m. Monday, all related to the Sydney cluster – the lowest daily increase in coronavirus infections in almost two weeks.
Three cases were discovered after the 2000 daily deadline and are currently under investigation, NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.
“I’m not ruling out that they are connected to the (Sydney) cluster … but until those connections are made we must all be on high alert in the greater Sydney area,” said Berejiklian.
“We don’t want people to think we’re not in the forest. Every time we get a couple of cases overnight that aren’t directly related to the northern beaches, we’re concerned.”
Sydney, Australia’s largest city, has scaled back its New Years Eve celebrations by banning large outdoor gatherings to watch the popular fireworks display and encouraging people to stay home and watch the event on television.
On New Year’s Eve, only residents with a public house permit are allowed into town, and households across Sydney are limited to 10 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people.
Australia has largely avoided the high infections and deaths from the novel coronavirus compared to many other industrialized countries. Just over 28,300 cases and 909 deaths have been recorded since the pandemic began.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)