Sydney Covid cases expected to rise after anti-lockdown protest as two charged for allegedly hitting police horse

Two men have been charged with animal cruelty for allegedly striking a police horse during anti-lockdown protests in Sydney, Australia on Saturday, police said, as daily Covid-19 cases in New South Wales state continue to rise. Thousands of people breached coronavirus measures and marched through the center of Australia's biggest city on Saturday, many unmasked and carrying banners with anti-vaccination messages, and clashing with police. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the protests "reckless" and "selfish." Protests also broke out in other major cities, including Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.

More than half of Australia's population of 25 million people -- including those in state capitals Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide -- are again living under lockdown measures to halt an outbreak of the highly-contagious Delta variant. Frustration is growing over lockdowns and the country's slow vaccine rollout.

Hundreds of fines have been issued for breaches of the health order, including 107 in the past 24 hours that link back to Saturday's protest, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said at a news conference on Monday. He said 10,000 reports have been made by the general public to a criminal hotline and investigators have identified more than 200 people.


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