Canberra [Australia], October 14 (ANI/Xinhua): Australia has reported a new record number of COVID-19 cases as the country continues to battle the third wave of infections.
On Thursday morning, there were 2,749 new locally acquired coronavirus cases reported across Australia, beating the previous record of more than 2,500 set on Saturday. Eighteen new deaths were reported.
It included 2,297 new infections in Victoria, which is the second-most populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, where 11 deaths were reported.
New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous state with Sydney as the capital city, recorded 406 new local cases and six deaths.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) reported 46 new cases and another death on the last day of its lockdown, which will end at midnight on Thursday night after more than 60 days.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr acknowledged that lockdown has been difficult for Canberrans but warned that its end does not remove the threat of COVID-19.
"Lockdown has not been easy, but it has kept our case numbers significantly lower than they would otherwise have been locked there and has allowed hundreds of thousands of Canberrans to get vaccinated," he told reporters.
"Tomorrow is not the end of the pandemic; the virus will continue to spread in the community."
So far about 83.2 percent of Australians aged 16 and over had received one COVID vaccine dose and 64.4 percent were fully vaccinated, according to the latest data released by the Department of Health.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) also on Thursday revealed the economic impact of the lockdowns in Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne, with the unemployment rate rising to 4.6 percent in September.
According to the ABS, in September this year, there were 111,000 fewer people employed in Australia than before the first coronavirus lockdowns in March 2020.
"Extended lockdowns in New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory have seen employment and hours worked both drops back below their pre-pandemic levels," Bjorn Jarvis from the ABS said in a media release. (ANI/Xinhua)