Following a coronavirus outbreak in southwest Sydney, a top doctor from the Northern Territory is calling for the entire state of NSW to be declared a coronavirus ‘hotspot’.
On Tuesday, Queensland declared two south-west Sydney council regions ‘hotspots’, meaning the state will restrict visitors from those areas, however, Australian Medical Association NT branch president Dr Robert Parker doesn’t think that is enough.
NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles said an announcement is expected tomorrow whether or not borders will reopen to NSW residents, adding authorities are monitoring the situation in NSW.
"We are watching the case numbers there as well as the transmission," Ms Fyles told reporters on Tuesday.
"We want to make sure that we put the lives of Territorians first."
Speaking to the ABC, Dr Parker said all of NSW should be declared a hotspot, just like the NT government has with Victoria.
The NT is expected to lift most border restrictions on Friday, dropping the mandatory 14-day quarantine period for anyone travelling to the region.
However, the requirement to self-isolate for two weeks will remain in force for anyone coming from a designated hotspot.
Dr Parker says the NT should hold off on welcoming NSW visitors for another week to evaluate the threat of coronavirus spreading in the territory.
“It's far safer just to delay NSW for a further week,” he said, according to the ABC.
“Sure, open up to South Australia, Western Australia, whatever — delay NSW for a further week, just to see what the effect of this particular location is and how far and wide the virus spreads rather than having a fairly confident response.”
Victoria ‘no doubt’ caused NSW outbreak, says Premier
There are now 30 coronavirus cases linked to the Crossroads Hotel cluster in southwest Sydney – 14 of which had been at the pub.
On Tuesday evening, NSW Health said in a statement two additional cases linked to the hotel have been identified.
Both men, aged in their 20s, came forward for testing after it was established a case from the Crossroads Hotel visited a gym in Casula.
NSW Health urges anyone who visited the Planet Fitness gym in Casula between July 4 and 10 to immediately self-isolate and come forward for testing following the confirmation on Tuesday.
Today, NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian conceded Victoria's coronavirus outbreak has "no doubt" impacted the state.
While the source of the outbreak linked to the Crossroads Hotel is yet to be identified, the investigation demonstrates there is "no doubt" the Victorian outbreak has affected NSW, Ms Berejiklian said.
"It's highly likely that given the evolving situation in Victoria that NSW was exposed to underlying community transmission from that state," she told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.
Ms Berejiklian was asked if she would consider locking down the suburbs near the Casula pub after the Queensland government declared Sydney's Liverpool and Campbelltown local government areas as COVID-19 hotspots.
The NSW premier said the measure wasn't being considered "at this stage".
Residents of Liverpool and Campbelltown will be barred from entering Queensland, while Queensland-based visitors will be forced into 14 days of hotel quarantine once they return home.
The outbreak at the pub resulted in NSW tightening restrictions at pubs, with patrons only allowed to book in for a group of ten and venues restricted to less than 300 people.
- with AAP
Do you have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.