NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has praised the state for its “incredible response”, with a record number of people stepping forward to get tested for the coronavirus.
In 24 hours, NSW tested 13,692 people, which Mr Hazzard said was well up from previous weeks, with daily tests numbers floating between 4,000 and a peak of 10,900.
“I want to thank the community and to say to the entire community, keep it up,” he told reporters on Saturday morning.
“The only way we will know how this virus is behaving through our community is to have people coming forward for testing with the slightest itch in their throat, the slightest feeling of sickness, the slightest temperature,” he said.
“Come forward, come forward, we need you to come forward,” he urged.
Of the 13,692 people tested in the past day, only five tested positive for the coronavirus.
“Which puts us amongst one of the best jurisdictions in the world,” the Health Minister said.
“It means that of all the people tested, we have 0.04% of people who are coming forward actually found to be positive, so that is an amazing outcome.”
Mr Hazzard boasted that the state is closing in on testing 300,000 people, with 294,949 tests being conducted to date.
NSW has had 3,051 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with more than 2,500 people recovered and 46 deaths.
Mr Hazzard also praised NSW for adhering to the “basic” message of social distancing and said people are washing their hands and using hygiene products “more than in probably the history of this state”.
Yesterday, the federal government unveiled Australia’s roadmap out of restrictions, a three-step plan put to state leaders to allow Australians to return to some degree of normality in the coming weeks.
It is up to individual states to decide when they enact on each of the three steps, and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said there would be no changes to the state’s restrictions this weekend.
With Sunday being Mother’s Day, Mr Hazzard advised people to be cautious, saying everything that has already been done needs to be “stepped up”.
“Keep your mum safe,” he said.
“When you go to visit your mum, do what we have asked you to do, keep that social distance.”
He acknowledged it was “really tough” not being able to hug or kiss your mother, or loved ones on such a day, but forgoing contact would be the “wisest course”.
“I have to remind the community, particularly as we want to keep our mums safe on this Mother's Day, no vaccine means we are still vulnerable, and we need vigilance,” he said.
Woman’s death not COVID-19, says doctor
Earlier Saturday morning it was reported a resident at the Anglicare Newmarch House died of COVID-19, it has seen been clarified the resident in her 90s died of an unrelated illness after recovering from the virus.
NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty told reporters on Saturday the infectious disease doctor looking after the Newmarch residents does not believe the death was related to COVID-19.
“Without going into personal details, we understand that the person had COVID, had recovered, had other illnesses and was elderly and died,” Dr McAnulty said.
However, he acknowledged COVID-19, like any other illness, could influence the person's stamina and ability to recover.
The woman was among 37 residents and 32 staff to have contracted the virus to date, and 16 residents at the Anglicare-owned facility in Sydney’s west have died of COVID-19.
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