Australia marks handful of new COVID cases
MELBOURNE (AUSTRALIA) – In the midst of frictions between Australian state leaders over the best way to tackle the outbreaks of the pandemic, the nation recorded a few local infections on Tuesday.
There was one new infection in the northern state of Queensland. The quarantined partner of a cleaner, who was found to have the highly infectious mutant variant of the virus, tested positive.
In New South Wales, the most populous state in the nation, there were five local infections, including two mystery cases that caused the emergency department at Sydney’s Mount Druitt hospital to close on Monday for a thorough cleaning.
The state of Queensland marked three new cases and New South Wales logged 16 new infections. For the sixth straight day, Victoria recorded zero community transmissions.
The country was able to manage the pandemic successfully by implementing strict social distancing norms, border closures and adopting aggressive testing and tracing initiatives. In a nation having a population of 25 million, there are around 28,633 infections, including 909 fatalities.
New South Wales and its capital Sydney have been struggling to contain an outbreak. But low and consistent numbers of community transmission have triggered concerns about the infections spreading to other parts of the country.
Western Australia premier Mark McGowan said on Tuesday that Australia “could rest a lot easier” if the pandemic was eliminated in NSW. Western Australia has not seen any local infections in nine months.
“We’ve had COVID deaths in this nation but we are going to have more deaths from mental health, from people being locked away in isolation,” NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said on Tuesday. “Stop lecturing us, look after your own backyard.”