The 'trigger points' that could lead to NSW lockdown

NSW is being nudged closer to a lockdown scenario as coronavirus cases in the state without a clear source of transmission are on the rise.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday in NSW rose by 186 to 1405. Of those total cases, the source of infection for 145 people is unknown, prompting concern among health authorities.

This number is the primary criterion by which NSW authorities are gauging the success of shutdown measures in halting the virus' spread.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian urged people to be vigilant and sensible, adding no one should leave their homes unless they have to.

But if COVID-19 cases from community-to-community transmission continue to rise, a more comprehensive lockdown would be needed.

"That tells us we are starting to see the increasing spread from unknown sources," Ms Berejiklian said on Friday.

Gladys Berejiklian said if coronavirus cases from community-to-community transmission continue to rise, a more comprehensive NSW lockdown is needed. Source: AAP

"There's a number of (lockdown) trigger points – you look at the proportion of community-to-community transfer, the capacity of our hospital system, how many people are presenting to hospital with the disease.

"You also look to see how much community activity has been reduced,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Australian Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy on Friday said there are "small amounts of community transmission in some pockets in Sydney, which is probably the most significant in the country".

Dr Kean-Seng Lim said stronger physical distancing measures were required immediately. Source: AAP

Ms Berejiklian said it would be important for residents to have time to absorb government decisions, and reiterated that at least seven days were required to determine the success of current restrictions.

Nevertheless, she was willing to move ahead of NSW Health advice, an action demanded on Friday by the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

AMA President Dr Kean-Seng Lim said stronger physical distancing measures were required immediately and called for a central point of command within the health system, rather than local health district management.

Ms Berejiklian reiterated that at least seven days were required to determine the success of current restrictions. Source: AAP

He also demanded assurances doctors and nurses were protected from infection through the access of equipment such as masks and gloves.

NSW Health on Friday said 162 passengers of the Ruby Princess cruise ship permitted to disembark last week in Sydney have now been confirmed to have COVID-19, up from 121.

Other confirmed cases include a Bathurst Base Hospital doctor and two Chilean sailors who have been in NSW since March 1.

NSW Health on said 162 passengers of the Ruby Princess cruise ship permitted to disembark last week in Sydney have now been confirmed to have COVID-19. Source: AAP

Almost 20 coronavirus patients in NSW are in intensive care.

A one-year-old girl confirmed on Thursday to have COVID-19 was also found to have visited a childcare centre one day before her onset of symptoms. NSW Health will contact the parents of children at the centre.

An ongoing inquiry was established by the NSW Parliament's upper house Public Accountability Committee on Friday to provide oversight of the state government's management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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