Delta variant cases surge in Australia

Australia's most populous state New South Wales reported nearly 200 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, as the country enters its second month of battling a delta variant outbreak.

Of the new cases, at least 50 spent time in the community while infectious, said state authorities.

Sydney's lockdown has been extended and some 300 army personnel have been going door to door to ensure people who have tested positive are isolating at their homes.

Defence force brigadier Michael Garraway said their role is to help deliver essential food to households, not just about making sure people are complying with the rules:

"We're not a law enforcement agency, and we'll be doing tasks that are supportive in nature. What you've got with the defence force is a disciplined, capable organization that's vaccinated, that's tested and that's compliant and it's able to do a range of tasks that will take the pressure off the police."

In Sydney's east, cars were backed up as people waited at a COVID-19 testing center.

There's still no sign the cases have reached their peak.

Restrictions are likely to persist, but the lockdown in Sydney, extended until the end of August, could ease if 50% of the population there is vaccinated.

Authorities haven't said exactly how many in New South Wales were fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, but said the state is on course to meet its target.

The total number of infections across the country has topped 3,800 in the latest outbreak since mid-June.

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