Sydney (Australia), September 20 : As the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) saw another drop in daily locally acquired cases, authorities have cautiously pointed at a downward trend in the current Delta outbreak.
NSW recorded 935 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8:00 p.m. local time Sunday, the first time new daily cases have dropped below 1,000 since Aug. 27.
Despite the tapering of new infections, the number of COVID-19 infections in the state's intensive care units (ICU) continued to grow, with 236 patients currently in ICU up from 234 on Sunday.
The state also recorded four additional deaths, bringing the total death toll from NSW's current outbreak to 245.
While optimistic, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said citizens should not "read too much into" the drop in cases, noting that October is still predicted to be the worst month for the state's hospital systems.
"Come October, there will be weeks where our system will be technically overwhelmed," said Berejiklian, noting that the most relevant figure remains the vaccination rate.
NSW Health reported on Monday that 82.2 percent of the above-16 population have now received their first dose of the vaccine, and 52.7 percent have been fully vaccinated.
Despite many areas of rural NSW having exited lockdown on Sept. 11, NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant announced that the rural town of Cowra would re-enter lockdown from 5:00 p.m. local time on Monday following a localized outbreak.
"There was a nine-year-old boy who attended school in Cowra while infectious, and there were a number of associated community exposures," she said at Monday's press conference.
Meanwhile, the Australian state of Victoria recorded a further 567 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to midnight Monday and one additional death.
The number of hospitalizations grew to 209 as of Monday, and Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews announced that the vast majority of hospitalizations have been among the unvaccinated.
"Of those cases who were in hospital yesterday, 86 percent were not vaccinated, 12 percent were partially vaccinated, and just three people were fully vaccinated," he said on Monday.
Currently, 72 percent of Victoria's above-16 population have received their first dose of the vaccine while 41.5 percent have been fully vaccinated, according to data from the Guardian Australia.