New South Wales has recorded a further 10 local cases of coronavirus as the state government resists calls to impose a Sydney-wide lockdown for now.
Five of the new cases are linked to the northern beaches cluster while three are connected to a cluster that has emerged at Croydon in Sydney’s inner west.
One other case is linked to a quarantine transport worker while the remaining case is still under investigation.
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More than 28,000 tests were carried out across the state in the last 24 hours.
The northern beaches cluster now stands at 144 while the Croydon cluster has grown to nine.
Pressure is growing on the New South Wales government to implement tougher restrictions or a wider lockdown in a bid to stop the situation getting any worse.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it remains an option but not at this stage.
“Here in New South Wales, we always try and strike the right balance. This is a very unpredictable, contagious disease, but we also appreciate that we don’t want to put more burdens on our citizens than we need to,” The Premier said.
“If Dr Chant or the health experts advise us to go down a particular course, we will do that quickly and nimbly and flexibly.
“Of course, should there be something that comes along where the health advice changes, should we need to adjust our policy settings, we will, as has been evidenced this week and last week, we won’t hesitate to keep the public safe.”
Officials are still no closer to identifying ‘patient zero’ or working out how the virus got into the community in the first place.
Ms Berejiklian concedes we may never know.
“This disease is so unpredictable and volatile that we may not have all the answers and we have to be honest about that.
“That’s why we put in place the restrictions we do because we don’t have all the answers. If we had all the answers, you’d be able to ease some of the settings we have in place.”
The Premier is also defending the decision to hold the third cricket test at the SCG next week, amid growing calls for spectators to be banned from the match.
But she has not ruled out imposing limits ahead of the game.
“We stand by our decision to make sure we’re able to to provide a COVID-safe event. As Dr Chant said, if we need to reevaluate some of our settings, update the compliance, the compliance measures and the safety plan, we won’t hesitate to do that.”