Sydney: Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, entered the 20th day of the ongoing strict lockdown on Thursday imposed amid the country’s largest Covid-19 outbreak of this year.
On Thursday, New South Wales (NSW) state, of which Sydney is the capital, reported 65 new local Covid-19 cases, of which 28 were transmitted within the community, Xinhua news agency.
Overall, NSW has recorded 929 locally acquired cases since the outbreak began on June 16.
Meanwhile, the drastic effort to curb the new outbreak is a dispiritingly long way off as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Wednesday that the lockdown would continue in the Greater Sydney Region (GSR) for at least two more weeks.
This means that more than 5.3 million people within the GSR must remain housebound until at least July 30, only venturing beyond their front doors for a strict set of reasons such as shopping, medical care, or essential work.
Masks continue to be mandatory.
The latest announcement of the lockdown’s extension, which initially was only going to be for two weeks beginning June 26, was of little surprise to many weary observers who have watched the steady rise of Covid-19 statistics.
According to analysts, the current lockdown is costing the national economy A$1 billion ($745 million) every week.
This new way of life has come as a rude shock for NSW, which had prided itself on being able to competently control the disease.
Since early 2020, Sydney has had limited lockdowns compared to Melbourne, Australia’s second largest city, which has repeatedly endured the financially and socially debilitating effects of lengthy lockdowns.