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The daily increase was still the second highest in the state, after 847 cases recorded on Saturday, as authorities fight to contain a Delta variant outbreak that has taken hold since mid-year.

Australia’s two most populous states, Victoria and New South Wales, are struggling to contain the highly infectious variant while increasing vaccinations to 80% of the population, a threshold that will allow authorities to relax strict lockdown measures.

Three-quarters of Australians received a first dose of the vaccine, while only half received both doses.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that he expects states to open borders and ease restrictions once the 80% vaccination threshold is reached.

“We each have a personal responsibility to take care of our own health. And so it is important that we move forward,” he told Channel 7’s “Sunrise” show.

“There comes a time when you just have to move on and keep going,” he said from Washington, where he held a summit with his counterparts from the United States, Japan and India.

Morrison said his message to Australians was “What I wish they had for Christmas is their life. And that’s part of the gift from governments. And it’s a gift that I would like us to have. gave it to them. “

New South Wales recorded nine deaths, government data showed on Sunday, as new locally acquired infections fell for a third day to 961, the lowest daily number in nearly a week, giving hope that cases may have peaked, initially expected in mid-September. , as vaccination rates increase.

“While we are extremely encouraged by the downward trend we have seen, with Delta you cannot be complacent,” said State Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

The state’s first dose rate rose to 85.2% of people over 16, while 59.1% of the population received their second dose.

New South Wales has recorded 288 deaths in the Delta outbreak, accounting for nearly a quarter of the country’s roughly 1,230 deaths.

State government officials are due to finalize a roadmap this week on what to do when the 80% target is met, as the focus is on when to reopen community activities to non-citizens. vaccinated.

Sporting events, regional trips, pubs, restaurants and other functions may remain off-limits to unvaccinated people until 90% of adults in the state have received two doses.

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