SYDNEY, June 29 (Reuters) – Australia reported a slight rise in COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, while officials in several states tightened movement curbs and pushed for vaccinations to limit flare-ups of the highly infectious Delta variant.
After months in which it had nearly stamped out the virus, Australia is battling the variant in five of its eight states and territories, just two weeks after an infection in key city Sydney involving a limousine driver of overseas airline crew.
Worries that the variant first detected in India could touch off outbreaks have forced lockdowns in three large cities and curbs of varying strictness in several more, affecting more than 20 million Australians, or about 80% of the population.
Northern Queensland state imposed a three-day lockdown in capital Brisbane and neighbouring regions from Tuesday evening. The Western Australian capital of Perth began a four-day lockdown from Tuesday, joining Sydney and Darwin.