'Under stress': NSW criticised for 'hiding' information from Covid updates

The NSW Government is facing criticism over its decision to stop reporting linked and unlinked daily Covid-19 case numbers.

In a statement to Yahoo News Australia on Friday, a spokesperson for NSW Health said the data “is not a meaningful representation of case investigations”.

The isolation status of cases will also no longer be reported at this time. All of this data was previously reported daily at 11am by Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

University of NSW epidemiologist Professor Mary-Louise McLaws told News.com.au “hiding” the data suggests the health system is “under stress”.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to the media during a press conference to provide a COVID-19 update, in Sydney.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to the media. Source: AAP

“Non transparency of health data is a criticism often levelled at communist countries and should never be tolerated by our democracy," she said.

“The authorities may well be practicing test, trace and isolate but the public cannot judge how well the authorities are keeping up with tracing and testing and if they aren’t then isolating cases found from slow tracing will continue to feed into the pandemic spread.”

Chair in Epidemiology at Deakin University Catherine Bennett added “incomplete information is not very helpful”.

Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Monday people should stop focusing on case numbers and monitor the state’s vaccination rates.

NSW reported 882 new cases on Friday and more than 1000 the day before.

You will be able to find the outcomes in the weekly surveillance reports here.

Members of the public exercise at Bondi Beach in Sydney.
People exercise at Sydney's Bondi Beach on Wednesday. Source: AAP

Late on Friday, WA Premier Mark McGowan announced two truck drivers who travelled from NSW had tested positive to the coronavirus upon their arrival in Perth.

The pair were tested as part of routine surveillance in NSW on Wednesday, before embarking on their journey through Victoria and South Australian to WA, where they arrived on Thursday night.

Mr McGowan moved to reassure West Australians the risk to the community was low, as the men - essential workers - had minimal contact with others.

with AAP

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