NSW Covid outbreak grows with 98 new cases announced

·News Editor
·4-min read

NSW has reported another 98 new locally acquired coronavirus cases as the state grapples to contain the current outbreak. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said health authorities were still concerned by the number of people who were infectious in the community, with 20 positive cases moving about.

People living in Greater Sydney and surrounding regions are now in the fourth week of a lockdown after the government imposed a raft of new restrictions.

They include the ban on all construction work, the closure of non-essential retail outlets, not including supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and liquor stores.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian addresses media during a press conference in Sydney, Saturday, July 17, 2021. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced 98 new cases. Source: Getty

Ms Berejiklian said two thirds of the new cases were identified in southwest Sydney and the coronavirus is transmitting most commonly in people visiting other households.

She added the second highest transfer of Covid was in workplaces.

“That is why we have put those rules around workplaces in particular, that is why we have had to ask some businesses to down tools until July 30," she said.

"Workplaces unfortunately not only spread the virus to colleagues, but potentially spread the virus to other communities because people from different areas are coming together at a workplace."

Warning over Covid misunderstanding

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant addressed a common Covid "misunderstanding" that could be adding to the spread of the virus.

"Covid is a severe illness and I just want to highlight the fact, again, what the premier has said, Covid can be spread to others even if you don't have symptoms," she said. 

"We are getting a lot of misunderstandings that if I am well, how could I possibly infect someone else.

"The reality is, you don't know. You don't know that you have the disease and actually, with the Delta variant, you are most likely to spread it to others even just before, around the time before you have symptoms."

Dr Chant said there were currently 82 Covid cases admitted to hospital, with 24 in intensive care. Of those in intensive care, one has had a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

She again stressed the importance of getting a vaccination if you are eligible. 

"Can I just urge everyone in the community who is eligible for the vaccine to go forth and make an appointment," she said.

"I would urge anyone, particularly over 60, to go and get an AstraZeneca vaccine from their GP."

TikTok comedian predicts wrong numbers

After correctly predicting the NSW Covid numbers on TikTok, for five days straight, Jon-Bernard Kairouz wrongly said today there would be 109 new cases. 

NSW Health has been investigating a potential leak of the numbers ahead of the premier's daily announcements and Health Minister Brad Hazzard told reporters on Monday the situation was "disappointing".

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"It was a disappointment that something as serious as our messaging to the community in a pandemic – clearly somebody in the system was feeling the need to disclose those figures to somebody who was not an appropriate person to be making commentary about it," he said.

"In terms of us giving the important message which goes out at 11am each day in a way that the community understands the significance of what we are asking people to do, to keep people safe – I think that is appropriate."

Beaches targeted after 'disgraceful' photo

NSW Police are targeting Sydney beaches to ensure compliance, with "high-visibility" patrols at Manly Beach, Bondi Beach and other coastal areas to ensure social distancing while people exercise.

Pictures emerged from Manly on the weekend showing people seemingly ignoring social distancing with some sat in deep discussion.

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People branded the behaviour of those photographed as "disgraceful".

"This is not right," one person replied.

“So sad and irresponsible,” one woman wrote.

Sydney residents are now required to carry a face mask when out of their homes and to wear them when appropriate.

Concerning Delta variant trend

Ms Berejiklian said the Delta variant was transmitting to children more commonly, unlike other variants. 

"That is why vaccination, in relation to the Delta strain, won't necessarily just mean adults ... it will also mean younger adolescents and younger children," she said.

"We are aware that this is a deadly disease impacting younger people."

Dr Chant said the journey living with Covid was going to be a long one, and once the majority of the population is vaccinated it is likely more boosters would be needed in 2022 to protect against certain variants of concern. 

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