Intense moment Gladys Berejiklian is grilled over the timing of her lockdown – before shutting down one journalist with a brutal truth about Delta
- Premier Gladys Berejiklian has dismissed claims state lockdown came too late
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has hit back after being questioned over the timing of her state-wide lockdown and provided a harsh reality about the Delta strain of Covid-19.
The NSW Premier was grilled by a reporter attending her Covid press conference on Monday after the state recorded 1,257 new cases of the virus overnight.
The reporter asked Ms Berejiklian why she waited two days to lock down all of Sydney after the super-spreader party in West Hoxton on June 19.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) has hit back after being questioned over the timing of her state-wide lockdown and provided a harsh reality about the Delta strain of Covid-19
The reporter asked the premier when she first received advice that the city’s west and southwest should be plunged into lockdown.
‘I think I have answered that question many times before, as has Dr Chant,’ Ms Berejiklian responded.
‘I think you’ll recall that day when we had two press conferences. It was within hours of getting that advice.’
The premier said she wanted to make it ‘very clear’ the highly-contagious Delta strain of the virus was different to anything ever experienced.
‘I know a lot was said about when we locked down, was it too hard or too slow or too fast,’ she continued.
‘But all of our major decisions have been based directly on the health advice in a shorter time frame as possible with a sense of urgency and immediacy.’
Ms Berejiklian reiterated the Delta strain of coronavirus had the ability to wreck havoc on unvaccinated populations.
‘It spreads rapidly. It denies us freedoms. I would never have assumed someone in my position would have to make the decisions we have had to make on behalf of the people of the state,’ she said.
The premier said NSW residents would look back on these trying months around Christmas time and feel grateful for the thousands of lives saved by Covid-19 restrictions and the state’s vaccination program.
However reporters continued to challenge the premier over the timing of the advice provided to lock down Covid-hit areas of western Sydney.
Ms Berejiklian was asked how long it took to lock down the state after NSW Health became aware the super-spreader party in West Hoxton could not be controlled.
‘Quite immediate. We react to the health advice as soon as we receive it,’ she said.
The premier added she could have waited an extra hour or extra day to enforce stay-at-home orders but decided to hold a second daily press conference instead.
The reporter stated health authorities had found out about the party on June 21 and realised three days later there had been additional attendees that had been out and about in the community for five days.
Ms Berejiklian made the announcement the city’s eastern suburbs would be locked down on June 25 with the entire state to follow the next day.
More to come.