Record daily infection toll reported in Australia’s most populous state

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Sydney opera house; Australia

Australia’s most populous state reported a daily record 466 new locally acquired Covid-19 infections and increased fines for breaches of pandemic restrictions.

The previous record tally in New South Wales, home to Sydney, was 390, reported on Friday.

Four people had died overnight, bringing the death toll in New South Wales from an outbreak of the Delta variant first detected in Sydney in mid-June to 42.

New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian said fines for breaking pandemic rules such as breaching quarantine orders had been increased from 1,000 Australian dollars (737 US dollars) to 5,000 (3,685 US dollars).

Sydney residents will be restricted to within three miles of home, half the distance they were previously allowed.

The government later announced that all of New South Wales would be locked down until August 22.

Deputy premier John Barilaro tweeted that the stay-at-home orders were to minimise movement and protect regional communities from the evolving Covid-19 situation in Sydney.

Ms Berejiklian said a positive note was that half the New South Wales population older than 16 had at least one vaccine dose.

“We know that the lockdown, coupled with a strong, targeted vaccination programme, is what is going to get us out of this dire situation,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Police supported by the military will crack down on Sydney residents who breach stay-at-home orders from Sunday night.

Sydney has been in lockdown since June 26, 10 days after the first Delta case was detected.

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