Covid Australia update: Perth joins Sydney and Darwin in lockdown as AstraZeneca offered to under 60s

The spread of the more infectious Delta variant of Covid-19 throughout Australia can be contained with a combination of strong adherence to public health guidelines and good luck, infectious diseases and virology experts say.

On Monday the number of locally acquired cases in New South Wales grew to 130, with 124 of those linked to the Bondi cluster. In Queensland, premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the next 48 hours would prove crucial, as the number of local cases grew to 10. The Northern Territory health minister, Natasha Fyles, said authorities expected more cases, with the total there at six, while two cases have emerged in Western Australia since Sunday.

“A virus in the wild in winter is a hard one to get a handle on,” said Kirby Institute virologist at the University of NSW Stuart Turville.

Not only do people tend to congregate indoors together in colder months, giving the virus more chance to spread and survive, he said, but data was revealing additional challenges associated with Delta.

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