Australia's Delta outbreak worsens despite Sydney lockdown
Australia on Monday reported another spike in new coronavirus cases powered by a rapidly growing outbreak of the Delta variant despite a lockdown in the country's largest city Sydney
Health authorities reported 112 cases in Sydney in the last 24 hours, marking the fifth consecutive day of record case numbers.
With a total of around 31,200 cases and 911 deaths since the pandemic began, it has fared better than many other developed economies.
The virus has now spread to neighbourhoods across the sprawling city of five million people.
New South Wales state premier Gladys Berejiklian said many of the latest infections were passed between family members and close friends who met despite a ban on meeting anyone outside your household.
Sydneysiders are currently ordered not to leave home unless for food shopping, medical treatment or daily exercise.
"If you put yourself at risk, you're putting your entire family -- and that means extended family, as well as your closest friends and associates -- at risk," Berejiklian warned.
On Saturday a woman in her 90s died hours after testing positive for Covid-19, the first death from a locally acquired infection in Australia this year.
There was, however, a glimmer of light as the number of newly-infected people who were out in the community while infectious dropped to 34 from 45 on Sunday.
The Sydney outbreak has put Australia's sluggish vaccine rollout under scrutiny. Just 11% of Australia's adult population of just over 20.5 million have been fully vaccinated.
Critics have pointed to confusing public advice and vaccine shortages.