New South Wales reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. This comes as the Sydney region has been facing a lockdown for over four weeks, indicating that restrictions and tough measures might extend till September.

Vaccination is the key to our freedom. Getting jabs in arms is a key part of our strategy,” said state premier Gladys Berejiklian to The Guardian. “I want August to be the month where everyone comes forward to get the jab. That is key to us being able to see what September looks like. I don’t think anyone can deny that the vaccination rate is absolutely key to how we live life in NSW.”

Following the outbreak of the Delta variant in the New South Wales region, more than half of Australia has been under lockdown. New South Wales reported 172 COVID cases in the past 24 hours, raking up the number from 145 the day before. Out of these, close to 60 are residing in the community.  

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Tens of thousands of COVID nasal test swabs were flown to various states from Sydney hotspots on Tuesday. According to a health worker who was a part of the pathology, labs in New South Wales were to the brim with record testing turnouts. State health official Jeremy McAnulty sais in a statement, “Whenever we get people in crowds who shouting or yelling, no social distancing that is a very dangerous situation for the transmission of Covid.”

In another hard-hit to the rollout in Australia, 51 million doses of Novavax, that were supposed to arrive in the second half of this year, are now due in 2022.

Victoria, on the other hand, will be lifting the restrictions on Wednesday. This came as only 10 infections were recorded since July 15.  “All in all, this is a good day,” Victoria’s state Premier Daniel Andrews said in Melbourne. He added that lifting it “sends a clear message that we have seen off two Delta outbreaks. I don’t think there’s a jurisdiction in the world that has been able to achieve that.”