COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Sydney, however curve flattening has yet to be observed.

Sydney’s COVID-19 On Tuesday, cases climbed at the slowest rate in nearly two weeks, but officials said they wanted to observe a sustained reduction in daily cases before concluding if the infection curve had flattened after 12 weeks under lockdown.

New South Wales (NSW) recorded 1,127 new local cases, the majority of which were in Sydney, down from 1,257 on Monday. There were two fatalities reported.

“It’s too early to know if we’re flattening the curve, but we’re seeing, pleasingly so far, that cases haven’t been increasing as fast as they have been,” Jeremy McAnulty, NSW Executive Director of Public Health Response, told reporters in Sydney.

“We’ll look to see what’s happening throughout the rest of this week to know how we’re going.”

Nearly half of Australia’s 25 million population is in lockdown, including people in Sydney and Melbourne, its largest cities, and the capital Canberra, as the country grapples with a third wave of infections from the fast-moving Delta variant.

Still, its coronavirus numbers are far lower than comparable countries, with around 77,000 cases and 1,102 deaths, and the mortality rate in the latest outbreak is lower than last year.

Sydney and Melbourne hope to come out of their extended lockdown around the middle of next month through higher vaccination rates. Officials hope to ease some tough curbs once two-dose vaccination rates in the adult population reach 70%, and then relax more curbs at 80%. Currently only 42% of Australia’s adult population is fully vaccinated.

Victoria state reported two new deaths and detected 445 new local cases, down from the year’s high of 473 hit a day earlier, as it looks to accelerate the vaccination rollout in Melbourne’s hardest-hit suburbs, the state capital.

The federal government plans to move an additional 417,000 vaccine doses over the next three weeks for residents in Melbourne’s north and west, where most new infections are being detected. Pop-up hubs will be set up in schools, community centres and places of worship.

Authorities on Tuesday extended the lockdown in Canberra for four weeks until Oct. 15 as it reported 22 new local cases, up from 13 a day earlier.

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