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Australia, under lockdown, sees worrying jump in COVID-19 cases

Australia’s two largest states reported sharp increases in new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, a blow to hopes that lockdown restrictions would be lifted with more than half the country’s population under stay-at-home orders.

New South Wales (NSW) state, home to the country’s most populous city Sydney, reported 110 new cases, up from 78 the day before, nearly four weeks into a lockdown of the city and surrounding areas to contain an outbreak of the virulent Delta variant.

Victoria state clocked 22 new cases, from nine the day before, its biggest increase since the outbreak began this month, as it nears its second week of statewide lockdown.

“Had we not gone into the lockdown a few weeks ago, the 110 number today would undoubtedly have been thousands and thousands,” said NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian at a televised news conference.

“But we need to work harder and, of course, all of us need to be on guard,” she added. Independent UK