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Australia cranks up COVID curbs with army patrols

Army patrols hit the streets of Sydney on Monday to help enforce coronavirus curbs, as Australia struggles to stop the Delta variant from spreading.

Around 300 unarmed military personnel have been tasked with going door-to-door, checking that people who have tested positive are isolating at home.

They're also accompanying police officers on the hunt for rule-breakers, combing neighbourhoods that have emerged as hotspots as the country's largest city enters its sixth week of lockdown.

The state of New South Wales, home to Sydney, reported 207 new cases in the past 24 hours.

That follows a 16-month high recorded late last week.

Meanwhile, a lockdown in Australia's third-biggest city, Brisbane, has been extended.

Due to end on Tuesday, it will now stay in place until the end of Sunday.

Throughout the global health crisis, Australia has managed to keep its cases relatively low.

But its vaccination drive has lagged many other developed countries.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has come under fire for his handling of the pandemic.

He's promised that lockdowns will ease once the country vaccinates 70% of eligible citizens, which should happen - he said - by the end of the year.

Only around 20% have been inoculated so far.

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