Covid lockdown extended in Aus capital


Canberra, Sep 14 : The Covid-19 lockdown in Australia's capital city of Canberra has been extended by a month as the country continues to battle the ongoing third wave of the pandemic. Andrew Barr, chief minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), said on Tuesday that Canberra will remain in lockdown until October 15, reports Xinhua news agency. Restrictions were due to end on Friday after 36 days in lockdown but Barr said the risk to the community remained high. On Tuesday morning, Australia reported 1,595 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19, taking the nationwide infection tally to 75,324 and the death toll stood at 1,098. New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous state and the current epicentre of the pandemic, reported 1,127 new cases and two deaths. Victoria, the second-most populous state, reported a further 445 new local cases. There were 22 new cases reported in the ACT, only two of which were in quarantine for their entire infectious period. It takes the number of active cases in the national's capital to 252. The ongoing outbreak in the surrounding NSW area is one of the reasons for the extended lockdown in ACT, according to Barr. "New South Wales has been problematic for the nation throughout this process. Given we are a jurisdiction sitting wholly within that state, and we are seeing incursion of the virus outside of the Greater Sydney area." Under the current restrictions, Canberra residents are only allowed to leave home for six reasons: essential shopping; healthcare; essential work; outdoor exercise for a maximum of two hours per day; Covid-19 vaccinations; and tests. So far about 68.5 per cent of Australians aged 16 and older had received at least one vaccine dose and 43.2 per cent were fully vaccinated, according to the Department of Health. /IANS


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