July 29, 2021: Sydney police have called for military help to enforce the corona virus lockdown as the infection set a new record in Australia’s largest city, Sydney on Thursday.
Commissioner Mick Fuller responsible for the Sydney police said New South Wales Police had asked 300 Australian Defense Force personnel to be deployed “to enhance their operational presence”. The 5 million-strong city is in its fifth week of lockdowns, which run until the end of August.
Stay at home orders have failed to reduce the number of new infections to zero, and compliance is complicated.
Sydney residents only need to leave their homes for exercise, essential work, medical reasons, and shopping for food needs. But for weeks, Sydney siders have been drinking coffee and chatting with friends in parks and on the beach. Sydney police are increasingly imposing fines on violators, and Fuller said efforts will be stepped up in the coming days.
Thousands of people gathered in central Sydney last weekend to protest the move, and further protests were intensified. Sydney police have also asked for more powers to close the business, saying they are not complying with social distance laws.
On Thursday, state Prime Minister Gladys Berjiklian warned that the outbreak began in mid-June when the driver of an international flight crew rescued her from the virus. Authorities have announced 239 new infections in Sydney, a record for the epidemic, which now stands at 2,810.
With less than 14% of Australians being vaccinated against the virus, many experts warn that Sydney’s lockdown could last for months.
Vaccination roll out in Australia has been sluggish because the supply of Pfizer biotech shots is low and there is widespread skepticism around the side effects presented by AstraZeneca.
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