Restrictions will tighten in Sydney, with New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian warning that the “really worrying” spike in Covid numbers could hamper plans to lift the lockdown late next week.
Of the 44 new cases registered as of 8 pm Thursday, 29 were partially or totally in the community and were not isolated during their infectious period.
It is the highest number of daily infections in New South Wales since the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, and Berejiklian said he expected cases to continue to rise in the coming days.
“That’s the number that really worries us,” Berejiklian said. “He tells us that in the next few days, those numbers are going to increase. This is the opposite of where we need or want the numbers to trend. “
The state will toughen its stay-at-home orders for the Sydney metropolitan area in response, limiting exercise to a 10km radius from one’s home or within its local government area, and with a maximum of two people per group. .
Starting Sunday, funerals will be limited to 10 people.
While the NSW government has been criticized for failing to define what is ‘essential’ shopping, leading to many retailers staying open during closure, in-store browsing will now be banned and shopping limited one person per household per day.
The number of close contacts identified by NSW Health doubled overnight from 7,000 to 14,000 as several large locations were listed as exposure sites.
Berejiklian warned that unless there is a change of course, the lockdown could be extended beyond three weeks.
“Unless there is a dramatic change, unless there is a dramatic change in the numbers, I cannot see how we will be in a position to ease the restrictions by next Friday,” he said.
The New South Wales Prime Minister rejected previous comments by Health Minister Brad Hazzard that the state might have to learn to live with the virus, saying the number of cases should be as close to zero as possible before end the lock.
“No state, nation or country on the planet can live with the Delta variant when our vaccination rates are so low. So please don’t think that the NSW government thinks we can live with this when our vaccination rate is only 9%, ”he said.
“When you only have 9% of your community vaccinated, opening yourself up before getting as close to that number zero as possible means that you would subject thousands and thousands to hospitalization and death.”
There are 43 people at the hospital receiving treatment for Covid-19 in New South Wales, including 14 under the age of 55. There are 10 Covid patients in intensive care in the state, with four on ventilators.
Of the 10 people in intensive care, one is 20 years old, one 30, one 50, five are 60 years old and two are 70 years old.
Of the 44 new cases, 21 are from southwest Sydney, where 100 police officers have been deployed to enforce the lockdown rules.
Eight cases live in south-east Sydney and seven in west Sydney.
Residents of south-west Sydney have told Guardian Australia that they feel “scapegoats” and treated more harshly than residents of the eastern suburbs at the start of the outbreak.
Berejiklian said police were moving where the virus was moving and that people shouldn’t feel like they are being treated differently.
“I don’t want anyone to feel that way. But if you are not doing the right thing, keep in mind that we will have to make the law fall on you, because the simple fact is that people who do the wrong thing means that we all suffer, “he said.
Meanwhile, in the Northern Territory, Chief Minister Michael Gunner declared, “We did it!” as restrictions on places such as gyms and mask rules were lifted from 1 pm as a result of the control of the outbreak in the territory.
Victoria reported her ninth day of zero new locally acquired cases, as restrictions were also eased, allowing people to pass through offices without a mask. The capacities of the premises were increased and the dance floors were recovered.
Queensland also reported zero cases.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism