Sydney, Aug 16 (IANS) The state of New South Wales (NSW), the epicentre of the current Covid-19 outbreak in Australia, recorded a new "disturbingly high" of 478 new locally acquired cases and eight deaths on Monday.
Among the cases, the source of infection for 337 cases is under investigation and 61 cases were infectious while in the community, reports Xinhua news agency.
The eight fatalities a man in his 40s, four people in their 80s, a man and a woman in their 70s, and a 15-year-old boy who died at a local hospital, making authorities more concerned about the impact of infections on younger age groups.
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the number of deaths announced on Monday stressed the "gravity" of the situation in the state.
Saying the community transmission numbers are "disturbingly high", NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said every person aged 16 to 39 in local government areas of high concern will be prompted to get vaccinated via their employer. The vaccination for this age group will start this week.
"We ask you to book in and get the jab to make sure you're protected and make sure you don't get the virus or spread it when you're working and take it home to your household unintentionally," Berejiklian said.
Meanwhile, tougher Covid-19 restrictions including a curfew, the closure of playgrounds, and a two-week extension of the current lockdown are set to be introduced in the state of Victoria, after the state recorded 22 new local cases on Monday.