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Covid NSW: Sydney outbreak escalated to national emergency as cases surge

NSW daily Covid-19 infections ballooned on Friday, with the state reporting its highest number of daily cases of the Delta outbreak for the second consecutive day.

Ms Berejiklian announced a further 136 locally acquired cases, up from the 124 announced 24 hours earlier.

Of those, 53 were in the community for the entirety of their infectious period. A further 17 were partly in the community while infectious.

"There is no doubt that the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage," Ms Berejiklian said.

Covid NSW crisis a 'national emergency, new restrictions introduced

The premier called the situation a "national emergency", tightening restrictions for residents in Sydney's west.

Workers in the local government areas of Cumberland and Blacktown will not be able to leave the areas unless on the essential list of workers.

Crowds watch surfers during large swell at Bronte on Thursday. Source: Getty
Crowds at Bronte on Thursday despite the Sydney lockdown. Source: Getty

Confidence in the current measures has deteriorated in the past 48 hours and comes after there was an air of positivity several days ago when 78 local cases on Tuesday appeared to show Sydney's lockdown was beginning to have its desired effect.

But as daily cases surge beyond 100 again, and at least 130 cases are infectious in the community announced from Wednesday and Thursday's announcements, there is growing scepticism over whether health authorities can suppress the virus.

With so many cases active in the community, Ms Berejiklian once again predicts daily infections will reach an even higher total on Saturday.

NSW Health continues to identify Sydney's west and southwest as areas of concern. The majority of infections continue to arise in those areas.

A record 86,620 COVID-19 tests were reported to 8pm Thursday, compared with the previous day’s total of 85,185.

More to come.

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