Dominic Perrottet defends his handling of Omicron surge and commitment to keep NSW open amid record deaths and tens of thousands more Covid-19 cases
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has defended his handling of the Omicron crisis as the state recorded its deadliest day of the Covid-19 pandemic.
NSW recorded 36 deaths on Tuesday as Australia recorded its second deadliest day of the pandemic, which could be surpassed later in the day.
The stated reported 29,830 cases on Tuesday – just 300 more than reported 24 earlier as hospitalisations increased by 2.7 per cent to 2,850.
The NSW premier has resisted growing calls to enforce more Covid restrictions or impose lockdown as he copped a grilling at Tuesday’s press conference, where chief health officer Kerry Chant warned deaths will continue to climb in the coming days.
The Premier is adamant NSW is in a good position and is tracking better than the best case scenario based on current health modelling, despite the soaring death toll.
NSW has recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic with the death toll expected to continue to climb in the coming days
‘We believe the settings we have in place are appropriate,’ Mr Perrottet told reporters.
‘Every Friday we continue to release the modelling in terms of how we are tracking under each of those scenarios we released in relation to our hospital plan.
‘While the health system is under pressure, we are currently tracking better than the best case scenario.’
While some experts believe NSW has hit its peak of Omicron cases, the premier and Dr Chant admitted infections may increase again when students return to the classroom in a fortnight.
Mr Perrottet said said there was nothing more he could do to stop the spread of the virus, shy of a lockdown.
‘The best way out of this pandemic is to continue to stand strong and to push through,’ he said.
‘It’s not the easy approach but it’s the right approach.
‘The only alternative is to go into lockdown.’
A defiant NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (pictured) defended his handling of the state’s latest Covid crisis on Tuesday
He added keeping society open is a much better position than going into lockdown and shutting down the economy.
‘It is not a lockdown when people can go to a cafe, when business owners and restaurants can open,’ he said.
‘That is a much better position to be and then to be in a lockdown situation, and that was a policy solution for a previous time with an unvaccinated population,
‘We are at 95 per cent vaccination rate here in NSW with close to 50 per cent of people who are eligible for a booster going out and getting it, which is a fantastic thing.’
More to come.
Some experts say Omicron cases in NSW have already hit their peak (pictured Sydneysiders in Chinatown)