NSW Health are pleading with the state’s residents to come forward and get tested if they develop the slightest of symptoms, warning the hotel quarantine leak in Perth should be a wake-up call to all.
“This case is a timely reminder that Covid-19 can emerge at any time,” NSW Health said in a statement.
“Everyone who gets tested is playing an important role in helping to contain the spread of the virus.”
Perth and two surrounding areas have entered a snap-five day lockdown following a confirmed cases in a hotel quarantine worker, with one of WA’s chief physicians warning there will likely be more local cases.
The reported number of tests in NSW for the previous 24-hour reporting period to 8pm Monday were 6686.
It is the lowest number of tests for a midweek reporting period since December 14. On Sunday, the figure dropped as low as 6023.
The last time testing numbers dropped this low, less than a week later NSW had recorded 30 known locally acquired cases in just one day.
“Although [Tuesday] is the 16th day in a row with no new locally acquired cases, NSW Health continues to be concerned by low rates of testing,” NSW said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant have repeatedly warned the state can only proceed with minimal restrictions if it has the best idea of whether the virus is circulating within the community.
Leaks in hotel quarantine have been on the rise in recent months, with NSW plagued by a several in December.
The rise coincided with a surge in positive infections inside quarantine as well as the emergence of new, highly-infectious strains from overseas.
During December, NSW registered 178 infections in hotel quarantine, a significant rise compared to the 48 confirmed in August.
The sharp rise and new strains prompted the state to limit its intake of returning overseas Australians.
Restrictions for WA arrivals
A Public Health Order is in place ensuring anyone entering NSW from affected areas of Western Australia follows ‘stay at home’ rules until Friday night.
Arrivals who have been in any of the named local government areas in the Perth, Peel and South West regions since January 25 must get a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arriving, and stay at home or their current place of residence for five days until Friday.
If they do not get tested, they are required to remain at home for a total of 14 days.
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