'Spiral out of control': Premier set to reveal new lockdown plan

·News Reporter
·3-min read

The NSW government is expected to extend the Covid-19 lockdown imposed on Sydney and surrounding areas by one week.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian spent most of Tuesday locked in discussions with health experts to gather information on "what next week looks like", ahead of a crisis cabinet meeting.

Ms Berejiklian warned on Tuesday it was "still concerning" infectious people were spending time in the community, adding further exposure sites to an already swollen list.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is expected to extend Sydney's lockdown by a further week. Source: Getty
Premier Gladys Berejiklian is expected to extend Sydney's lockdown by a further week. Source: Getty

It's believed the government has decided to extend the lockdown on Greater Sydney, Wollongong, Shellharbour, Blue Mountains and the Central Coast, due to end on Friday, by another week to 11.59 on July 16.

She is expected to announce any changes at the state's Covid-19 daily press conference at 11am (AEST).

With the new school term due to begin next week, students in those five regions are likely to be mostly learning from home. The children of essential workers will be able to attend schools, as has happened in earlier lockdowns.

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Students outside those regions should be able to go back to school.

NSW recorded 18 new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday, bringing the total number of people infected in the latest outbreak that began on June 16 to 330.

The news will likely be welcomed by epidemiologists who have warned NSW's health authorities to tread with caution due to the highly-infectious Delta variant.

People sit on North Bondi's popular grassy knoll during the lockdown. Source: Getty
People sit on North Bondi's popular grassy knoll during the lockdown. Source: Getty

Epidemiologist Tony Blakely from the University of Melbourne told the ABC he doesn't believe Sydney should leave lockdown until infectious cases moving around in the community has fallen to zero.

University of Western Australia epidemiologist Dr Zoe Hyde called for even more stringent measures on Tuesday evening.

"What on earth is going on in NSW? The current approach isn't working, and people are becoming seriously ill," she wrote on Twitter.

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"Unless there's a proper, stringent lockdown, this could rapidly spiral out of control and endanger all of Australia."

A day earlier she pointed to Vietnam's surge in cases at the hands of the Delta variant, offering a cautionary tale to NSW.

Dr Norman Swan, the ABC's medical expert and face of its coronavirus coverage, said he didn't believe Sydney was in a proper lockdown and previously questioned the excessive movement of some residents under the order.

On Tuesday Ms Berejiklian said she would not put her state under "unnecessary burden" but the state must learn to live in a new world dealing with the highly-infectious variants of Covid-19.

With AAP

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