Fri, 22 Oct 2021

Brisbane, Queensland: On Saturday, Queensland, Australia's third most populous state, said it could order a snap lockdown after recording several new COVID-19 cases.

With a population of more than 5 million people, the state announced five new cases in the past 24 hours, after a family in the state capital, Brisbane, tested positive, adding that the next few days will be critical to assessing whether a lockdown is required.

"If we start seeing any seeding, then we may have to take very quick, fast action," said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, as quoted by Reuters.

However, it has not been confirmed whether a lockdown would be limited to certain areas in Queensland.

The country's most populated state, New South Wales, home to Sydney, along with the cities of Melbourne and Canberra, are currently under lockdown.

Australia's $1.5 trillion economy, which could suffer a second recession in as many years, will be dealt a further blow if Queensland is locked down.

On Saturday, 2,077 cases were confirmed throughout the country, surpassing the previous day's record of 1,903 cases, with New South Wales recording 1,599 new infections.

New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard said police would monitor people to ensure they remain within 3 miles of their homes.

Police and military personnel have also been patrolling the streets of Sydney and issuing fines for those violating lockdown measures, including former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who was pictured not wearing a mask.

Authorities reported 450 new locally acquired cases in the state of Victoria, the highest one-day increase in more than a year.

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

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