'Great concern': Epidemiologist's warning over NSW Covid outbreak

·2-min read

An epidemiologist has warned further restrictions in NSW may be necessary in the coming days due to the coronavirus outbreak in Sydney.

Professor Tony Blakely told Weekend Today there was a "good chance" the state might need to endure further restrictions despite being the "poster child" for contact tracing, given the Delta variant is harder to contain.

"But there's a good chance — it's not a small chance — there's a good chance that more restrictions will also be needed if this gets out of control," Prof Blakely said.

"Yesterday [Friday], with just one case, that was better than what I expected."

Professor Tony Blakely said there is a good chance NSW will have to impose further restrictions in Sydney. Source
Professor Tony Blakely said there is a good chance NSW will have to impose further restrictions in Sydney. Source: Channel Nine

Three cases were reported on Saturday in NSW — two were included in Saturday's numbers, one will be reflected in Sunday's count.

All three of the confirmed cases had been to Bondi Junction Westfield where a confirmed case visited while infectious.

At a press conference on Saturday, Health Minister Brad Hazzard pointed out how easily this variant of coronavirus can spread.

“Even if you happen to be passing the person who was infectious, for example, on an escalator, walking along a passageway, going through the airspace with a person has breathed out, we could see you becoming positive,” he said.

Prof Blakely also stressed how the Delta variant could pose a risk to the community.

"The fleeting contact is a great concern, because that's how this virus, this new one, really spreads fast," he said.

"I might be a person that doesn't spread it much, or I might be one of the 10 or 20 per cent who spreads it a lot."

Several cases have now been linked to Sydney's eastern suburbs. Source: AAP
Several cases have now been linked to Sydney's eastern suburbs. Source: AAP

Masks became mandatory on public transport in Sydney on Friday evening, however there are currently no other restrictions in place.

Whether or not NSW will need to do more to stop the spread within the community will depend on how many cases are identified in the coming days, Prof Blakely said.

"But if the [cases] start to go up, and particularly if we see some cases out there, whereby we don't know where they got it from, then that will be the time to start going further and putting more restrictions in place," he said.

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