‘Escalating risk’: Worrying graph amid NSW Covid outbreak

·News Editor
·3-min read

The NSW premier has hinted at a "next stage" of restrictions for three local government areas in Greater Sydney as the state battles to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The state reported 27 new local cases on Wednesday, an increase on the 18 announced on Tuesday.

While the lockdown has now been extended for another week until Friday July 16, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said three government areas could see tighter lockdown restrictions. 

"We have seen the main cases move from the southeast, pretty much all of the cases we are seeing from southeastern Sydney are now in isolation – so we are pretty confident the virus isn't spreading in that community," she told reporters. 

A general view on Queen Street in Campbelltown on July 14, 2020 in Sydney, Australia.
Three local government areas in Sydney could enter a 'next stage" of restrictions. Source: Getty

"But we have seen overnight some concerning statistics on what is happening in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool council areas.

"The NSW Government doesn't want to go to the next stage but we are considering if there are any further actions we need to take in those three local government areas."

Ms Berejiklian stressed activities like visiting loved ones and babysitting the children of others were not allowed and urged people to stay home.

"The key message in the Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool local government areas is please do not leave the house," she said. 

"What is spreading the virus is any form of mobility and so, in particular in those three local government areas, we just need everybody to please follow the health orders."

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Warning over 'escalating risk'

There are concerns over the statistics in the three local government areas, which have a combined population of about 810,000.

Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant echoed the desperate pleas of the premier, saying the risk was escalating in those three local government areas.

"There is that risk that is escalating in that area of southwestern Sydney," she said. 

"We know at the moment it does appear to be predominately across social groups or connected households, but some of those connections are loose and what we need to do it work on establishing the degree of those connections and then do a ring of testing around those connected individuals to make sure that there's been no further escape into the broader community transmission.

"Because of that, we really do not want people to be moving about.

"We want to reduce mobility in and out of those local government areas and we would prefer that people basically stay at home."

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