Australia’s Victoria state yesterday reported its biggest rise in new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases in nearly a week as authorities scramble to track the source of the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 found among infections.
Authorities reported 11 new cases, up from just two a day earlier, but said that all were linked to existing clusters, as residents of Melbourne wait to hear if an extended snap lockdown is to end as planned on Thursday night.
“Nothing is on or off the table,” Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told reporters in Melbourne, when asked if some areas of the city could remain locked down while others start to ease curbs.
Yesterday, Melbourne entered its 11th day of a hard lockdown after officials on Friday last week found the Delta variant, which they said was likely to spread more easily than many other strains, for the first time among infections.
The source for the Delta variant infections has yet to be identified and there has so far been no genomic match with other cases in Australia.
All of Yesterday’s locally transmitted cases are linked to existing clusters, officials said, with eight being close contacts who were isolating while infectious.
The Delta variant, which has been classified by the WHO as among the four COVID-19 variants of concern due to evidence that it spreads more easily, likely caused the latest devastating outbreak in India.
Australia has largely reined in prior outbreaks with snap lockdowns, regional border restrictions and tough social distancing rules keeping COVID-19 numbers relatively low.
About 20 percent of Australia’s adult population has received a first vaccine dose, with more than 5 million shots so far administered.
Chinese authorities have marshalled extraordinary resources to monitor a herd of traveling elephants and to keep it away from residential areas. Media reports quoted the Yunnan Forest Fire Brigade as saying that a team of eight people have been tracking the elephants, around the clock, on the ground and by drone. In the latest update, authorities said that the herd of wild Asian elephants had been tracked to a forest just outside a village in Xiyang Township, in Yunnan Province, about 90km southwest of the city of Kunming, heading back in the direction they came from. Drone images showed the elephants lying down
Tall, thin and brightly colored, Hanoi’s “tube houses” dominate the city’s streets as 9 million people compete for space in Vietnam’s bustling capital. Although Vietnam saw a number of villas and garden houses built during the French colonial period, Hanoi has few of these grand residential homes. Instead, tree-lined streets are packed with dwellings that are barely 4m wide, but are three times that in depth. Typically, a tube house might be home to a family of four, but two or three generations of relatives sometimes have to jostle for space. The first tube houses — known as nha ong in Vietnamese — are
The head of the Philippine military on Monday visited a coral-fringed island his country occupies in the South China Sea, a move that could stoke already heightened tensions between Manila and Beijing in disputed waters claimed by both countries. During the visit, Philippine Armed Forces Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana commended service members for the role they played in protecting the island’s residents and “guarding the country’s territories” in the strategic waterway. The visit comes after diplomatic protests made by the Philippines in the past few months over what it says is the illegal presence of hundreds of “Chinese maritime militia” vessels inside
Maori might have been the first to discover Antarctica, with connections to the icy continent and its surrounding oceans stretching back to the seventh century, researchers say. A new paper by University of Otago combines literature and oral histories, and concludes that Maori were likely the first people to explore Antarctica’s surrounding waters and possibly the continent in the distance. They write that Maori and Polynesian journeys to the deep south have been occurring for a long time, perhaps as far back as the 7th century, and are recorded in a variety of oral traditions. The oral histories of Maori groups Ngti Rrua