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'BE CONCERNED': Warning over 'serious' Sydney cluster

The president of the Australian Medical Association's NSW branch says Sydney residents need to take the current outbreak of Covid-19 in the city's east more seriously.

Dr Danielle McMullen said she believed Sydneysiders were too relaxed as the virus potentially spreads across the city.

Eleven cases to date in the Bondi cluster have led to the number of exposure sites ballooning to more than 100.

"I don't think the vibe has changed in Sydney enough to reflect the serious outbreak situation that we're in," Dr McMullen told Channel Nine's Today.

"I do think that people need to be more concerned than they seem to be at the moment."

Dr Danielle McMullen says Sydneysiders need to be more concerned about the current outbreak. Source: Nine
Dr Danielle McMullen says Sydneysiders need to be more concerned about the current outbreak. Source: Nine

Both Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant have expressed their concern at testing levels in the state and despite more than 25,000 tests on Sunday, a daily target of 40,000 – regularly witnessed in Melbourne's recent outbreak – has been set.

Dr McMullen echoed their sentiment.

"We certainly need to get testing numbers up and, if that doesn't happen, and we start to see more cases creeping around, harder measures will come in," she said.

On Monday, Ms Berejiklian said current mask restrictions would likely be extended beyond Wednesday.

Exposure sites are scattered across Sydney. Source: NSW Health
Exposure sites are scattered across Sydney. Source: NSW Health

The mandatory mask rule on public transport in Greater Sydney, Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas was initially due to end on Wednesday at midnight after five days but a “level of concern” remained, Ms Berejiklian said.

Some commuters ignoring Sydney mask mandate

However NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance told ABC Breakfast he had witnessed some Sydneysiders flouting the rules.

"I did observe quite a number of modes of public transport where people didn't have [masks] on," he said.

"We need people to wear them. It is in your own interests, your loved one's interests and community interest and particularly on buses where we know that people are quite often in the breathing space of others.

"We need everybody to put the masks on otherwise there is the fine in place."

The latest cluster consists of infections of the highly-infectious Delta variant. Ms Berejiklian said contact which had led to transmission of the virus has been "scarily fleeting" in some instances.

The outbreak has also led to increased restrictions for about one million residents in seven local government areas as health authorities look to curtail the spread of the virus.

Anyone shopping, working in hospitality or indoors must wear a mask unless eating or drinking if they live in the local government areas of Randwick, Bayside, Botany Bay, Inner West, City of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra.

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