'Way above': Bleak prediction after Covid cases surge past 1000

NSW's top doctor fears the worst is yet to come in the state’s Covid crisis, warning infection numbers could soon peak "way above" 1000 daily cases.

After nearly 10 weeks in lockdown, NSW hit another grim milestone on Thursday with 1029 local Covid cases.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant predicts this number will only go up in the months ahead.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant speaks to the media during a press conference to provide a Covid-19 update on August 26, 2021.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant has made a bleak prediction about the escalating outbreak. Source: AAP

“So, my advice to the government is that the case numbers may well continue to go up before we see the trajectory of downward transmission,” she told reporters on Thursday.

“Clearly we're at a thousand and I would indicate to you that the numbers may well go way above a thousand cases.”

Lockdown fatigue contributing to rising cases

Dr Chant blamed lockdown fatigue as a contributing factor in the escalating outbreak.

"The factors that go into that model is how we're adhering to the mobility restrictions, how we're individually behaving. We have seen some deterioration in some of those metrics because people are obviously feeling so tired and frustrated with the length and duration of the restrictions," she said.

With the Berejiklian government looking to ease some restrictions for fully vaccinated residents in the coming weeks, Dr Chant said it was “critical” to ramp up vaccinations and limit movements in areas of high transmission.

“It is critical that the people of southwestern and western Sydney are afforded every opportunity to take up the vaccines as quickly as possible, and that has been the focus of our vaccination efforts to provide that access,” she said.

People are seen waiting to receive a Covid test in Lakemba on August 20, 2021.
Dr Chant said lockdown fatigue was a factor in the escalating outbreak, urging residents to "do the right thing". Source: AAP

NSW urged not to become complacent

Dr Chant went on to put the onus on the entire state, not just the local government areas of concern “to do the right thing”.

“As you know, we see the predominance of cases in southwestern Sydney and western Sydney, but you cannot be complacent anywhere," she said.

“We do see the fact that people bring it back to different communities. And if people are not following the rules there, we can have additional bushfires.

“And at the moment, with our stretched system, we do not want to be fighting bushfires on multiple fronts.”

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