NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is urging Sydney’s five million residents to be on high alert as the state anticipates further coronavirus cases linked to its Northern Beaches cluster.
Ms Berejiklian, who warned of more cases to come, called on the entire city to take the necessary precautions such as wearing a mask to prevent the outbreak from expanding further.
“The health advice also extends to all of Sydney in terms of being on high alert,” she told Channel Nine’s Today show.
She said the next 24 to 48 hours are “absolutely critical”.
“We need the public’s help.”
Mr Berejiklian warned against attending indoor events, places of worships, hospitality venues including RSL venues where the outbreak is believed to have been sparked in Avalon. She said if people do, they should be wearing masks where appropriate.
She said it was vital Sydney residents “adjust” and “pull together” to prevent the outbreak from obliterating Christmas plans across the state.
More than 200,000 residents in the Northern Beaches have already been told to stay at home for the the next three days as health authorities desperately try and curtail the spread of the virus.
One of Thursday’s confirmed cases was a male drummer from Frenchs Forest who performed across Sydney with his band Not Too Serious.
Ms Berejiklian said an update on new cases would come at 11am.
Genomic testing has confirmed the strain is an international one as health authorities scramble to determine where it has leaked into the community.
On Thursday evening, NSW Health revealed cases in the cluster had skyrocketed from five to 17.
University of Melbourne epidemiologist Tony Blakely told the Herald Sun if the Northern Beaches outbreak was not under control in 72 hours it could easily develop into a “superspreader Christmas event”.
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