Covid cases have continued to surge in NSW, with the state recording its worst day yet since the Delta variant began circulating in the community last month.
On Saturday, 163 locally-acquired cases were confirmed in NSW, with over 93,000 tests being carried out in the 24-hour reporting period.
Of the record daily case numbers, 45 of them were in the community while infectious, Health Minister Brad Hazzard said Saturday. A further 26 were potentially in the community for part of their infectious period.
"In other words, 45 people were out walking around and potentially spreading the virus which certainly explains why our numbers are going up," he said.
Of the new cases, 73 were in isolation for their entire infectious period.
NSW Health said 87 of the cases are linked to either a known case or cluster, and of those 62 are household contacts and 25 are close contacts.
The source of infection for 76 of the new cases remain under investigation.
Thirty seven people in intensive care
NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty highlighted how serious the illness is on Saturday morning.
"We have 139 people with Covid admitted to hospital at the moment, 37 are in intensive care and 17 require ventilation. And 55 of those people [in hospital] are aged under 55, so they are not old people," he said.
"In fact, 28 are under 35 years of age. By vaccination status of those 37 people in ICU, 36 are not vaccinated, and one is partially vaccinated, having received the first dose of AstraZeneca."
On Friday, a man aged in his 80s died in Liverpool Hospital.
Six people have died in NSW amid the current outbreak and 62 have died in the state since the start of the pandemic last year.
'Massive problems': Health Minister calls on other states
NSW has reported cases upwards of 100 since Wednesday, with hopes that Sydney will be free form lockdown next all but vanished.
The escalating situation in NSW which Premier GladysBerejiklian and Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant dubbed a "national emergency" on Friday led to Victoria adding a new category to its interstate travel permit system.
All of NSW is now designated as an "extreme risk zone".
Victoria is grappling with its own Covid-19 outbreak, after the virus crossed the border from NSW and plunged the state into its fifth lockdown.
On Saturday, Mr Hazzard said what the Chief Health Officer meant by a "national emergency" was that NSW needs additional help from the other states and territories.
"Last time I looked, we were a Commonwealth - we worked together. It disturbs me that after all we've done to work together, it has just seemingly been cast aside," the health minister said.
"When we have bushfires, when we have floods, people from our state go to help others.
"If it gets worse here in New South Wales, it could actually create massive problems for the whole country," he added.
On Friday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said once the outbreak in his state is contained, he would offer contact tracers to assist in NSW.
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said "of course" the state would be happy to help with contact tracing when possible and other supports amid outbreaks to other states.
More to come
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