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Covid cases surge in worst-hit Aus state

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By NS Desk 14-Aug-2021

Sydney, Aug 14 (IANS) New South Wales (NSW), the worst-hit state in Australia's current Covid-19 outbreak, reported 466 new local cases on Saturday, a new peak and a nearly 20 per cent jump from the 390 infected recorded the previous day.

The state also recorded four deaths, which brought the total number of fatalities in the latest outbreak to 43, reports Xinhua news agency.

Facing the deteriorating situation, the authorities announced a couple of tougher restrictions.

From Monday, the radius of movement for residents in Greater Sydney and surrounding areas were reduced from 10 km to 5 km.

From August 21, people will need a permit to travel to regional NSW.

People who breach the rules, such as self-isolation, lying on a permit or lying to a contact trace, will face an increased on-the-spot fine of A$5,000 ($3,685).

People who do ot adhere to the two-person outdoor exercise rules, or enter into regional NSW for inspecting real estate and travelling will face a fine of A$3,000.

Residents in those local government areas on concern cannot get out of home for outdoor recreation, such as gathering in a park or outside take-away shops or cafes.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there will be a stronger police presence, especially in those local government areas of concern, to clamp down on people breaching the restrictions.

An additional 500 Australian Defence Force will join those who were already in NSW to help local police ensure people's compliance with the restrictions.

"The increased fines and heightened police presence are about ensuring people who are doing the wrong thing are caught and punished appropriately," she said.

The premier also extended the lockdown on Armidale, an area in the northern part of NSW to prevent the spread of the virus.

--IANS

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