NSW virus toll hits six, cases top 380

AAP reporters
1 / 2

VIRUS NSW

Brad Hazard has again stressed the importance of social distancing as the coronavirus toll mounts

NSW has recorded its biggest 24-hour spike in COVID-19 cases with 75 new infections and one more death in the state.

As the state's total rose to 382, at least four people on the Ruby Princess cruise ship that returned to Sydney on Thursday have been infected, with health authorities urging 3800 passengers and crew to self-isolate.

Ninety-eight of the 1148 crew disembarked the ship and have left NSW for their home countries, while the rest remain in isolation on the ship offshore.

Princess Cruises on Friday said everyone who'd developed flu-like symptoms "had been in isolation on board the ship which minimised any contact with other guests or crew".

Sixty-three per cent of passengers were Australian residents, 20 per cent were US residents and the rest are from a variety of countries, according to NSW Health.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard on Friday chastised those in Sydney who weren't taking the coronavirus crisis seriously.

"There were reports yesterday that at Bondi there were thousands of people and many of them were not physically separated," he said.

"The recommendation is at least 1.5 metres. By all means enjoy the beach, and enjoy being outdoors, but keep your separation."

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet on Friday night confirmed the state's 2020-21 budget would be delayed from June to later in the year, echoing an earlier announcement by the prime minister.

"We will seek NSW parliament's support to ensure that necessary funds are available to continue the delivery of government services and projects, until the full budget is handed down," Mr Perrottet said in a statement.

It was announced earlier on Friday that an 81-year-old NSW woman had died after contracting coronavirus - bringing the NSW death toll to six and the national tally to seven.

The woman died on Thursday night after close contact with a confirmed case linked to Ryde Hospital.

An 86-year-old man previously confirmed to have COVID-19 died in a Sydney hospital on Tuesday night.

Another resident of BaptistCare's Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Macquarie Park - a 73-year-old woman - has also come down with COVID-19.

Three of the facility's residents have died after contracting coronavirus.

NSW Health said six people are in intensive care in NSW.

Chief health officer Kerry Chant on Friday said there were four new confirmed infections related to a Sydney Church of Christ service on March 8 in Ryde.

The initial precautionary approach of hospitalising all confirmed COVID-19 cases has been abandoned as the number of cases rise.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is urging people to adhere to social distancing measures in order to limit the spread of the virus.

"What we want to make sure is if we control the spread and keep the numbers very low as to who is actually needing to go into intensive care - and at the moment it's only a handful of people who are in hospital because of this illness - that's where we want to keep it," she told the Nine Network on Friday.

"We are not on top of it and nobody is, but we are still at a stage where we're managing it and we don't want to lose control and that's why it's important to socially distance."

More than 40,000 people have been tested for COVID-19.

NSW Planning Minister Rob Stokes has overridden regulations preventing 24-hour deliveries of stock to supermarkets amid panic-buying.

Coles chief operations officer Matthew Swindells on Friday said the supermarket had sold three Christmases worth of stock in the past three weeks alone.