Australia and New Zealand struggle to quell Delta

Australia continued to break its daily record of new COVID-19 infections on Sunday in the state of New South Wales.

The vast majority came from the state's biggest city Sydney, the epicentre of the Delta outbreak that started in June.

State Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

"To 8 p.m. last night there were 1,218 cases of community transmission and we extend our deepest condolences to six families of loved ones who died from COVID, or who had COVID."

"I suspect in October we'll probably have the highest number that we do in Intensive Care, I suspect we have not reached the peak yet there at all."

She also once again urged the public to get vaccinated.

"It really is a pandemic, an epidemic of the unvaccinated. No doubt about it."

More than half of Australians have been living in a lockdown that's lasted weeks.

Last month, the government said it saw the measure as key to quelling outbreaks until 70% of the population gets vaccinated.

New Zealand also reported dozens of cases on Sunday despite nation-wide restrictions being imposed.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern extended that policy until later this week.

But she said Auckland - the epicentre of the country's outbreak - would be kept in lockdown for longer.

"We are looking at all of this in more detail. If we need to tighten up our restrictions further, we will."

New Zealand had been living virtually virus-free and without curbs until this month.

Ardern said that changes on how the outbreak is managed could be announced on Monday.

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