World: Asia Today: Sydney lockdown extended, record cases in SKorea

New Zealand-Australia travel bubble bursts as Covid infections rise in Australia

  New Zealand-Australia travel bubble bursts as Covid infections rise in Australia Quarantine-free travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand will be suspended, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced on July 23. © Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 19: Passengers begin to arrive at Sydney International terminal for early morning Air New Zealand flights destined for New Zealand on April 19, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. The trans-Tasman travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia begins on Monday, with people able to travel between the two countries without needing to quarantine.

SYDNEY (AP) — Australia’s largest city Sydney will remain in lockdown for another month.

People receive the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center in Seoul, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. South Korea reported a new daily high for coronavirus cases, a day after authorities enforced stringent restrictions in areas outside the capital region. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) © Provided by Associated Press People receive the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at a vaccination center in Seoul, Wednesday, July 28, 2021. South Korea reported a new daily high for coronavirus cases, a day after authorities enforced stringent restrictions in areas outside the capital region. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The New South Wales state government announced that the lockdown of the city of 5 million would last at least until Aug. 28, after reporting on Wednesday 177 new infections in the latest 24-hour period. It was the largest daily tally since the cluster was discovered in mid-June.

Thousands protest lockdown in Sydney, several arrested

  Thousands protest lockdown in Sydney, several arrested SYDNEY (AP) — Thousands of people took to the streets of Sydney and other Australian cities on Saturday to protest lockdown restrictions amid another surge in cases, and police made several arrests after crowds broke through barriers and threw plastic bottles and plants. The unmasked participants marched from Sydney’s Victoria Park to Town Hall in the central business district, carrying signs calling for “freedom” and “the truth." There was aThe unmasked participants marched from Sydney’s Victoria Park to Town Hall in the central business district, carrying signs calling for “freedom” and “the truth.

“I am as upset and frustrated as all of you that we were not able to get the case numbers we would have liked at this point in time but that is the reality,” New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

More than 2,500 people have been infected in a cluster that began when a limousine driver tested positive on June 16 to the contagious delta variant. The driver had been infected by a U.S. aircrew he transported from Sydney airport.

The death toll from the cluster reached 11 on Wednesday with a woman in her 90s dying in a Sydney hospital.

In other news in the Asia-Pacific region:

— South Korea on Wednesday reported a new record 1,896 COVID-19 cases, a day after authorities started enforcing stringent restrictions in areas outside the capital region. Health officials say many cases in the Seoul area have been traced to restaurants, schools, public bathhouses, churches and offices. Outside the capital, clusters have been tied to pubs, karaoke rooms, gyms and offices. South Korea has seen a sudden spike in new infections in the past several weeks amid a slow vaccination rollout, lax public vigilance and the fast spreading delta variant. Health official Sohn Youngrae told a briefing Wednesday the most important objective at this point is lowering the trajectory in the Seoul area by the end of next week in a bid to slow the spread outside the capital region.

Australia: Anti-containment demonstrations and violent clashes with police in Sydney

 Australia: Anti-containment demonstrations and violent clashes with police in Sydney © Provided by The Parisien Parisien Sydney, clashes took place between mounted police and demonstrators who threw flower pots and their bottles while residents were ordered to stay home for a month to stem the resumption of the epidemic Covid-19. Lockdown protests today in the CBD. # COVID19nsw pic.twitter.com/c8xy0oyR4M - k.

— Drivers seeking to leave eastern China’s Jiangsu province will have to show a negative COVID-19 test taken in the last 48 hours or be forced to turn around, as cases in the province continue to rise. The provincial transport department said 93 checkpoints have been set up along highways in the province, whose capital Nanjing is the epicenter of China’s latest outbreak. Drivers must remain in their vehicles and wear masks while health workers carry out the checks, the notice said. China has frequently used similar containment measures to stop the spread of the virus and has largely eliminated local transmission. The National Health Commission on Wednesday reported another 48 cases in Jiangsu over the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 154 over recent days. Authorities say the virus being transmitted is the highly contagious delta variant. Another seven cases of local transmission were recorded in Sichuan, Liaoning and Yunnan provinces. The virus continues to spread despite China having administered more than 1.5 billion doses of vaccine — exceeding the size of the entire population of 1.4 billion. Questions have already been raised about the efficacy of Chinese vaccines, particularly among the elderly.

Australians may face longer lockdown after mass protests

  Australians may face longer lockdown after mass protests Australians may face longer lockdown after mass protestsMELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia's New South Wales logged its second-highest daily increase in locally acquired COVID-19 cases of the year on Sunday amid fears of a wave of new infections after thousands of people joined an anti-lockdown protest.

Victoria enters sixth pandemic lockdown as Australia widens restrictions .
Victoria enters sixth pandemic lockdown as Australia widens restrictionsSYDNEY (Reuters) -More than half of all Australians woke up to hard lockdowns on Friday as the country battles to contain COVID-19 outbreaks fuelled by the Delta virus variant, with Victoria reporting a slight easing in locally acquired cases.

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