Australia's east coast battles rising COVID-19 cases

Australia's COVID-19 battle in the states of New South Wales and Queensland worsened on Sunday.

That's despite millions being kept under strict lockdown for five weeks in its largest city Sydney.

The country on Sunday reported 239 new cases of the highly infectious Delta variant, matching the record set on Thursday.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged residents once again to get vaccinated.

"Today is the first of August and I'm calling upon the people of Greater Sydney, of Greater New South Wales to come forward and get vaccinated. To get to the 70 per cent target we need 9.2 million jabs, to get to the 80 percent target we need 10 million jabs and we've been talking about this in New South Wales for some time."

Australia's vaccination drive has been sluggish, with only 18 percent of adults fully vaccinated so far.

That's owing to a vaccine supply shortage and changing medical advice.

The current outbreak, which began in June, has seen cases climb to more than 3,400.

Sydney's 5 million residents are now expected to remain under lockdown until at least August 28.

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