Covid 19 coronavirus: Australia in turmoil as multiple states grapple with outbreaks, lockdowns

Australia’s Covid battle has significantly worsened in the past 24 hours, as multiple states and territories respond to new Covid-19 cases and expanding contacts.

The Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland have joined New South Wales in implementing restrictions as health authorities battle against surging Covid cases.

Four new cases connected to an infected miner in the NT sparked a snap 48-hour lockdown in Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield, with residents only allowed to leave their home for five reasons: to seek medical treatment, to purchase essential goods and services, for essential work, to undertake one hour of exercise, or to give care.

The Northern Territory mine exposure event was the tipping point for NZ’s decision to close the transtasman bubble, director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said at today’s media briefing.

In Western Australia, a traveller from Sydney has also tested positive for what authorities believe is the Delta variant. As a result, the state has reinstated new restrictions across the Perth and Peel areas.

Meanwhile, NSW has recorded a further 30 cases, with the total number of infections in the state currently at 102. Despite this, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said larger daily figures will likely be reported in the coming days.

“We do anticipate that in the next few days, case numbers are likely to increase even beyond what we have seen today,” she said.

“We are seeing that people in isolation, unfortunately, would have already transmitted to all their house contacts.”

Elsewhere, passengers on five different flights between three states have been forced into isolation after a Virgin Australia cabin crew member tested positive to Covid-19 on Saturday night.

“The crew member is now in isolation, and Virgin Australia is rapidly contacting all team members who are close contacts,” Virgin said in a statement today.

“Virgin Australia is requiring those crew members to cease flying, get tested and isolate.”

All passengers who were on flights with the infected crew member were being contacted by health authorities.

Here’s a quick recap on where each affected state and territory is at:

NSW: Total cases have risen to 102, and the Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour areas have been placed in lockdown until July 7. The state recorded a further 30 new locally acquired cases today and that number is expected to increase over the next few days.

QLD: Queensland has recorded two new community cases, with authorities believing that one of those may have visited several venues in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast while infectious. The person is believed to have the UK Covid variant, rather than the highly contagious Delta strain currently spreading through Sydney. As a result, the one person per two square metre rule restriction has been reinstated.

NT: The territory has recorded four new cases of the virus after a miner was infected during his stay at a quarantine hotel in Brisbane. Initial testing has led authorities to believe the latest infections are linked to the Delta variant and as a result Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield have been placed into a 48-hour lockdown.

WA: The state has recorded one new case in a traveller returning to Perth from Sydney. As a result, the state has reimposed mask use rules and gathering restrictions on people in the Perth and Peel regions.

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