The Australian and international news stories you need to know today, Wednesday August 4.

A man in his 20s has died of COVID in NSW as state records 233 new cases. 

A Sydney man in his 20s has died of COVID-19 as NSW reported 233 new locally acquired cases.

He's the youngest person to die in the state since the pandemic began last year. The previous youngest person was a 38-year-old who died a few weeks ago.

"It demonstrates again how this disease is lethal, how it affects people of all ages," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, the gentleman wasn't vaccinated, hadn't had any dose of the vaccine. As we understand, the death happened quite suddenly."

A woman aged in her 80s also died in hospital on Tuesday.

Of the new cases, at least 68 were in the community for part (21) or all (47) of their infectious period.

The isolation status of another 73 cases is currently unknown, while 130 cases are yet to be linked to a known cluster.

The cases, reported in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, mean 1489 cases have been recorded in a week.

Meanwhile, a Centrelink, several post offices and 50 supermarkets are among more than 170 venues listed overnight as COVID-19 exposure locations by NSW Health.

The additions, involving 275 different visits by positive cases, were so extensive that the health authority unusually did not list each one in a media release or on social media overnight.

Some listings are for locations visited more than 14 days ago on July 19 while positive cases visited a Parramatta Centrelink four times over nine days.

Nearly 40 venues are Woolworths, extending from Brookvale in Sydney's north to Wollongong's Figtree.

NSW Health on Tuesday urged people to check its case location list regularly.

Meanwhile, residents of an apartment block in Campbelltown are reportedly in a severe lockdown after several residents were infected with COVID-19.

It's the third unit complex to be locked down during the Sydney outbreak because of the virus, following similar action at other premises at Blacktown in Sydney's west and Bondi Junction in the east.

Meanwhile, the NSW-Victorian border bubble has tightened.

People living in a NSW border town won't be able to cross into Victoria without a permit unless they are travelling for necessary goods and services, care reasons, work and education, vaccination and exercise.

And Prime Minister Scott Morrison says NSW's once lauded "gold standard" COVID-19 management is no longer fit for purpose due to the highly infectious nature of the Delta strain of the virus.


"It is indeed true that for a very long period of time in NSW, they were able to manage cases as they arose by not having to go into lengthy and extraordinary lockdowns," Mr Morrison told federal parliament on Tuesday.

"But the virus writes the rules."

Greater Sydney and surrounding regions are approaching six weeks of lockdown with daily infections remaining stubbornly high as the state government looks to vaccination as a way out of the outbreak.

Qld COVID-19 outbreak grows to 63 cases. 

Queensland has recorded 16 new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases in west Brisbane with another unlinked Delta case in the far north.

The new cases, which are all the Delta variant, emerged after a recorded 51,479 tests in the 24 hours to Tuesday morning and 14 have been infectious in the community.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles says the west Brisbane outbreak, which has led to a lockdown of the state's southeast until at least Sunday, has now grown to 63 cases.

"This has become our biggest outbreak since the first wave last year," he told reporters on Wednesday.

Four cases are linked to the Ironside State School, two are linked to Indooroopilly State High School, one is linked to Brisbane Boys Grammar and nine cases are close contacts or family members.

Another new Delta case in Cairns is not genomically linked to Brisbane cluster.

The case is a reef pilot who is fully vaccinated with Pfizer and he's believed to have been infected by a crew member on a ship.

Almost 10,000 people are in home or hotel quarantine, and two new cases were not in the community for any point of their infectious period.

Chief Health Health Officer Jeannette Young said there's still hope the lockdown could end at 4pm on Sunday.

The aim of the lockdown isn't to eradicate the cluster, she said, but keep the number of people infectious in the community down.

"It doesn't matter (if) we've had those cases because they're in quarantine, so it won't stop us lifting the restrictions on Sunday," she said.

"So please, everyone just think of what you can do in the next few days so we can lift this and we can beat all their predictions about how long it takes to get such a large cluster under control."

Police issued 48 penalty infringement notices on Tuesday, including 34 to people for breaching lockdown without a valid reason.

Mr Miles urged people to stay home unless they absolutely need to do essential shopping or get health care.

"You can't go out because you need milk, but stop to look at EB Games or JB Hi-Fi," he said.


"So the requirements are there, the police are checking people for the first time those RBT style interceptions. We just urge everyone to really, just for a few more days we hope, do the right thing.

"Five more days, do the right thing, and then next week you can buy all the sun lounges you think you need."

Dr Young asked people to even delay online and "click and collect" shopping for non-essential items until lockdown lifts.

"I'm a great online shopper, could you think about whether you need to do online shopping this week," she said.

Queensland's Ekka public holiday set for next Wednesday will also be rescheduled.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said she hopes to receive 150,000 extra AstraZeneca vaccine doses from the Commonwealth next week.

"If (federal Health Minister" Greg Hunt's says they've got 150,000 now, which I have no doubt they do, of AstraZeneca then it should be on trucks today," she said.

Ms D'Ath also said the government was also trying to work out what was causing vaccine hesitancy in Queensland.

"We do a lot of consumer advocacy and reach out to find out why it is that we, you know, have a vaccine hesitancy or why we're not coming forward," she said.

"We need to break down the data as to whether it's AstraZeneca or Pfizer."

Until recently, the state government had warned people under 40 not to get AstraZeneca due to the extremely small risk of a rare blood clotting disorder, which is treatable.

Earlier this week, Dr Young changed her advice and said people who think they are at risk should talk to their GPs about getting AstraZeneca.

Drive-through vaccine clinics in Australia from October.

Drive-through vaccine hubs will be rolled out across Australia from next month, with pilot programs expected to start in mid-October and large-scale operations to be running by late November.

Lieutenant-General John Frewen’s Operation Covid Shield plan will even see schools becoming vaccine hubs by early December. 

The Delta variant has put a rocket up the Commonwealth's vaccination plans, with the ramp up in vaccine sites to coincide with an expected increase in the availability of Pfizer jabs, with enough doses due to arrive in Australia to open up access for all over-30s from September 1, reports the Courier Mail. 

Scott Morrison once lauded NSW's insistence on staying open and managing COVID-19 outbreaks with testing and tracing, but he now says only snap lockdowns are capable of halting the Delta variant.


The prime minister on Tuesday said NSW's "gold standard" for COVID-19 management was no longer fit for purpose due to Delta's virulence.

Hard, fast lockdowns were now the sole order of the day and NSW's attempt to manage its current outbreak before calling a lockdown wasn't sufficient.

Attempts to slowly ramp up virus restrictions were now also ineffective.

Wednesday marks seven weeks since the first COVID-19 case of the Bondi cluster - an unvaccinated limousine driver transporting air crew.

NSW aims for six million jabs by September.

With Greater Sydney and surrounds approaching six weeks of lockdown and daily infections remaining stubbornly high, the state government is now looking to vaccination as a way out of the outbreak.

NSW recorded 199 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, 82 of which were in the community while infectious.

The state government is aiming to have six million COVID-19 vaccine doses in arms by the end of the month to slightly ease lockdown rules. 


But that's only 50 percent of the population, and would not be enough to do away with restrictions altogether.

Just over four million doses have already been administered in NSW, with 460,000 given out in the past week alone.

Easing restrictions in September would also depend on the case numbers, which even Premier Gladys Berejiklian admitted were "anyone's guess".

Fears Qld on verge of 'large outbreak'.

Brisbane's COVID-19 outbreak has swollen to 47 cases with the state's chief health office warning the state is on the verge of a "large outbreak".

The 16 new cases announced on Tuesday are all linked to the west Brisbane Delta cluster, which has grown from one to 47 cases in four days.

A 17th case was recorded in North Queensland, with contact tracing locations in Cairns, Trinity Beach and Yorkey's Knob. A Qantas flight from Brisbane to Cairns on Thursday morning has also been listed.

The circumstances are currently being investigated and Queensland Health advised more information would be released on Wednesday.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said 70 infringement notices were issued and 21 people were arrested overnight.

He said police will move to install RBT-style roadblocks to enforce the hard lockdown.


Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has previously advised younger adults not to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, but she admits that's set to change.

Australia to add another gold on day 12 of the Tokyo Olympics.

Australia is guaranteed at least one more gold to add to its medal tally on day 12 of the Tokyo Olympics, with Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan only needing to complete the medal race to assure themselves of the gold medal, having established an unassailable lead in the men's 470.

All eyes will also be on Aussie Peter Bol who will make history on Wednesday in the men's 800 metre final.

American gymnast Simone Biles won bronze during the women's balance beam final on Tuesday, a week after taking herself out of several competitions to focus on her mental health.

Jamacia's Elaine Thompson-Herah made history with her victory in the 200m on Tuesday, becoming the first woman to retain Olympic titles in the 100m and 200m.

US teen sensation Erriyon Knighton will become one of the youngest ever 200m finalists when he lines up at the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday.

Olympians accused of "unacceptable" flight conduct on their way home from Tokyo.

Rugby Australia and Football Australia are investigating the booze-fuelled conduct of returning Olympians on a flight home from Tokyo.

The men's rugby sevens team, which suffered a quarter-final loss, and the Olyroos, who failed to progress beyond the group stage of their Olympic campaign, are both in hot water.

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) chief executive Matt Carroll convened a meeting of his counterparts at sporting organisations with representatives on the flight.

Carroll says Rugby Australia (RA) and Football Australia (FA) are probing the antics, which came after some departing Australian Olympians caused damage to their accommodation.

"While there has been no formal complaint from the airline, unacceptable behaviour was brought to our attention and I directly raised the issue with our member sports" Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) chief executive Matt Carroll said.

"It's extremely disappointing.

"Both rugby and football have told me that such behaviour is certainly not acceptable within their sports and have sincerely apologised to the Australian Olympic team.

"The CEOs have undertaken to take the appropriate action and report back to us."

MP calls for Lord's Prayer to be scrapped.

A 103-year-old tradition of reciting the Lord's Prayer when Victoria's upper house sits could be scrapped under a proposal by crossbencher Fiona Patten. 

The Reason Party MP will move on Wednesday to replace the prayer with a moment of silence so politicians can pray or reflect on their responsibilities to Victorians. 

Ms Patten, an atheist, says the current proceedings do not reflect Victoria's diverse community.


"We've got members of parliament from many diverse backgrounds, including Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, which wasn't the case when prayer was first introduced into parliament," she told AAP. 

"We should be doing everything we can to be as inclusive as possible and not to privilege one religion over another at the beginning of parliament."

NY Governor Cuomo harassed women, says investigation. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in violation of US and state law, according to a five-month investigation detailed by the state attorney general that prompted Cuomo to swiftly deny any inappropriate conduct.

"I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances," Cuomo, a Democrat who has served as governor since 2011, said in pre-recorded remarks.

"I am 63 years old. I've lived my entire adult life in public view. That is just not who I am. And that's not who I have ever been."


The investigation showed that Cuomo engaged in unwanted groping, kissing and hugging and made inappropriate comments to a total of 11 women, Attorney General Letitia James told a news briefing earlier on Tuesday, adding that the governor's office had become a "toxic workplace" that enabled harassment to occur.

It was a civil investigation and will not directly lead to criminal charges against the governor.

Around the world.

- The Taliban appear close to capturing their first provincial capital in Afghanistan in years. Over the past weeks they've captured several lucrative border crossings with Iran, Pakistan and Tajikistan.

- America has reached President Joe Biden's goal of getting at least one COVID-19 shot into 70 percent of American adults a month later than planned. But the administration is struggling to overcome scepticism and hostility against the vaccine especially in the South and other rural and conservative areas. 

- New global modelling of birth sex ratios has found global long-term stability could be at risk due to the "cultural preferences" for boys in certain countries with men expected to outnumber women in coming decades. 

- With AAP

Feature image: Ryan Pierse/Getty/Carlo Allegri-Pool/Getty.

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