Australia’s Queensland state warns of possible COVID-19 lockdown

The first day of a COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne
First day of COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne
FILE PHOTO: A lonely man sits on a deserted Federation Square on the first day of a lockdown, as the state of Victoria seeks to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Melbourne, Australia July 16, 2021. Reuters/Sandra Sanders

September 11, 2021

by Colin Packham

Canberra (Reuters) – Australia’s third most populous state said on Saturday it could order a snap lockdown following a cluster of COVID-19 cases, as the country reported a record single-day rise in daily infections Is.

The state of Queensland, home to more than 5 million people, said it had detected five new infections in the past 24 hours after a family tested positive for COVID-19. Officials said the next few days will be crucial to see if the lockdown is needed.

“If we start planting any seeds, we may have to take very, very quick action. But for the time being, it lies to the family,” said state premier Annastasia Palaszczuk.

The family lives in the state capital, Brisbane. It was not clear whether the lockdown would be extended in some parts of the state as in the previous orders.

The Australian state of New South Wales, home to Sydney, is currently under lockdown as are the cities of Melbourne and Canberra, and a lockdown for Queensland would be another blow to Australia’s $2 trillion ($1.5 trillion) economy that is a A recession in so many years can slip in seconds.

Although some states have yet to report Saturday’s numbers, Australia has so far recorded at least 2,054 infections, compared to the previous record of 1,903 for the entire country a day earlier.

New South Wales, which has been under strict stay-at-home orders for nearly three months, said it had detected 1,599 new infections. In neighboring Victoria, officials reported 450, the biggest one-day increase in locally acquired cases in more than a year.

Australia has now recorded nearly 73,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,084 deaths.

($1 = 1.3596 Australian Dollar)

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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