The New South Wales COVID-19 outbreak has now been declared a national emergency with the Premier conceding they’re not even close to coming out of lockdown next week.
The state recorded 136 new cases of the virus in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, eclipsing the previous high recorded on Wednesday.
A concerning 53 of those were in the community while infectious.
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There has also been another death with an 89-year-old man dying from the virus.
“There is no doubt that the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage. It is fairly apparent that we will not be close to zero next Friday,” Gladys Berejiklian said.
“The crisis Cabinet meeting of the New South Wales government met this morning …..when Dr Chant and her team advised us that the situation that exists now in New South Wales, namely around south-western and now Western Sydney suburbs, is regarded as a national emergency.”
Tougher lockdown measures have been announced for more areas of Sydney with the Cumberland and Blacktown local government areas forced to remain in their region.
Only critical workers will be allowed to leave those local government areas.
Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant has ordered a refocus of the state’s vaccination strategy to focus on the impacted areas of Sydney.
She has requested that all vaccine initiatives be redirected to Sydney’s west and southwest and to allow both Pfizer and Astra Zeneca jabs to be made available to younger workers.
“What we are seeing is that the actions taken to date have averted many cases, but what we are not seeing is the turnaround that we would have liked to see at this stage,” Dr Chant said.
“We need to redouble our efforts, and I have indicated to the Government that we need an intensive vaccination program using both Pfizer and AstraZeneca in that area.
“I would recommend to anyone across New South Wales to make a booking for AstraZeneca, and to get their dose of AstraZeneca regardless of where they live, whilst we are developing a very targeted at intensive strategy in south-western Western Sydney.”
More to come.