Covid NSW: 1164 new cases as premier drops Christmas travel hint

·News Reporter
·3-min read
  • Cases over 1000 for fourth day in a row

  • Premier envisages international travel by Christmas

  • Two-thirds of adults receive at least one jab

NSW's Covid crisis shows little sign of slowing down with yet another day of more than 1,000 cases.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced 1,164 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases and three further deaths from the outbreak on Tuesday.

It is the fourth consecutive day cases have exceeded 1,000 and follows a record 1,290 cases on Monday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Deputy Premier John Barilaro told ABC News Breakfast the state needs to be "absolutely clear" that cases will continue to rise over the next two months. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian attending a Covid update. Source: Getty
Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned on Monday October will be the state's worst month of the entire pandemic for NSW hospitals. Source: Getty

Ms Berejiklian announced more than two thirds of adults have now received at least one dose of vaccine.

"Can I please encourage everybody who has not yet made plans for vaccination to really consider September the month when them and their loved ones, and your family are vaccinated," she told reporters.

While the state beat Ms Berejiklian's 6 million-dose target for the end of August by an impressive 859,279 doses, the past two days have seen a slight drop in vaccines administered. 

Premier envisages Christmas travel freedoms

Offering hope to the state's residents, Ms Berejiklian hinted at international travel by Christmas if 80 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.

"While 70 per cent double dose gives those of us vaccinated freedoms, 80 per cent double dose allows us to look at international travel, welcoming home all Australians," she said.

"How wonderful would it be to welcome back all Aussies who want to be reunited with their families by Christmas, and New South Wales will step up to support that cause."

She called it her "absolute goal and dream" to reunite all families separated by borders for Christmas.

Pressed on whether NSW could go it alone by reopening internationally, Ms Berejiklian stressed it was agreed at National Cabinet for the nation to open at 80 per cent double dosed.

She said she did not understand any decision from other states or territories to walk away from those plans.

"It's important for states to move forward together," she warned.

Once again Ms Berejiklian reiterated all states will need to learn to live with the Delta variant.

"We can't pretend anymore that we can have zero cases whilst Delta is on the planet."

Health Minister Brad Hazzard lashed out at those who are hampering the state’s efforts to hit vaccination targets, delivering a scathing attack on those who are not looking to get their jabs.

“Not getting vaccinated is self-entitled and indulgent in the extreme in the middle of a pandemic. Go and get vaccinated and be fair to the rest of the community,” he said.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant identified Guildford, Merrylands, Auburn, Greenacre, Bankstown and Blacktown as suburbs of concern. 

She said it was imperative for residents in those suburbs and surrounding areas to "embrace every opportunity they're afforded to have the vaccine".

NSW has now recorded 96 deaths from the latest outbreak which began on June 16. The state's toll for the whole pandemic sits as 152.

There are 871 Covid patients in hospital in NSW, with 143 in intensive care and 58 ventilated.

Regional situation 'very challenging'

There were a further 54 cases in western NSW across several towns as concerns grow over how Indigenous communities are impacted by the Delta variant.

Mr Hazzard admitted the situation was "very challenging", particularly in the virus-hit town of Wilcannia. He said discussions were ongoing to provide portable accomodation in the area to relieve the difficulties authorities face over isolating positive cases and contacts.

The outbreak at Parklea Correctional Centre drastically worsened overnight, with an additional 43 cases at the facility, taking the outbreak to 75 since August 18.

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