Sydney’s Covid-19 outbreak has exploded yet again as NSW authorities confirmed the state’s worst day of the pandemic to date with a record 633 new cases and three deaths from the virus overnight.
An unvaccinated man in his 60s died from the virus at Liverpool Hospital in Sydney’s south-west and two men in their late 70s died at Nepean Hospital.
One of them was fully vaccinated and the other had received his first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Of the new cases, 550 were found in west and south-west Sydney.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the worst was yet to come for the city – which has now spent almost eight weeks under a stay-at-home lockdown.
‘What the data is telling us in the last few days is that we haven’t seen the worst of it,’ she said.
‘The way that we stop this is by everybody staying at home. You cannot get the virus if you do not have contact with other people.
‘You have to assume, no matter where you are in the state, that every time you set foot out of your door, that you have the virus or anybody you’re in contact with has the virus.’
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the state’s eight million residents had a ‘collective responsibility’ to help stem the spread of the highly-contagious Delta variant.
Sydney’s Covid-19 outbreak has exploded yet again as NSW recorded another 633 new cases overnight. Pictured is a Sydneysider wearing a mask in the city on Monday
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the worst was yet to come for Sydneysiders as the state recorded by far the highest daily rise in cases during the Covid-19 pandemic to date
‘We will see more admissions and more deaths if these numbers continue to increase,’ she said. ‘We have a collective responsibility to do all we can to stop seeing those deaths.’
Ms Berejiklian earlier on Wednesday morning revealed hairdressers, beauticians and cleaners could be among the first professions to get back to work once they are fully vaccinated.
‘I don’t want to give the game away but it would be potentially, you know, services which could be provided to people so long as both parties are vaccinated,’ she told KIIS FM.
A health expert meanwhile offered a glimmer of hope for long suffering Sydneysiders desperate to be freed from lockdown, saying hard restrictions could mean cases plummet within months.
Epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely said he believed NSW can significantly drop to as few as 30 cases a day by mid-October under a ‘hard lockdown’ which used tougher restrictions.
‘It will take until about mid-October under really hard lockdown under modelling we are releasing tomorrow, or February under a soft lockdown,’ Professor Blakely told The Project on Tuesday night.
Of the new cases, 550 were found in Sydney’s west and south-west. Pictured is a police officer and ADF personnel monitoring a line of people waiting to receive their Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday
A queue to receive a Covid-19 vaccine is pictured at the New South Wales Health vaccination centre at Sydney’s Olympic Park on Tuesday
‘So it will take a long time to get those case numbers down to that level. This is really challenging stuff. It is more about a bridge over towards October, November, when the vaccination coverages get up and seeing how we go at that point. It is challenging.’
He had difficulty describing the current state of Sydney’s 53-day lockdown when asked if it was a ‘soft’ lockdown unlikely to decrease cases.
‘I don’t know what they are in, to be honest,’ he conceded.
‘A hard lockdown would take until October to get to about five cases a day.
A ‘vaccination blitz’ in NSW is meanwhile targeting residents aged 16-39 living in 12 LGAs of concern in Sydney’s Covid-hit west and south-west.
Authorities will give priority access to 530,000 Pfizer doses for those in that age bracket at NSW Health clinics from 9am on Wednesday.
Those eligible for the jab must be aged between 16-39 years of age and live in Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith or Strathfield.
The blitz in areas where transmission is highest in Sydney is designed to drive down the rate of infection in those hotspots.
Why Melbourne’s mystery cases and low testing levels could see the city’s lockdown extended AGAIN – as Victoria records 24 new infections and exposure sites grow
Victoria has recorded 24 new coronavirus cases as fears mount Melbourne’s outbreak is out of control and lockdown will be extended again.
Six of the cases were infectious in the community and four are mystery cases whose link to the growing outbreak are not yet known.
They were diagnosed from 39,832 tests and 27,173 vaccine doses were administered across Victoria on Tuesday.
So few tests, compared to more than 150,000 a day in NSW, raised fears there were dozens more cases going undiagnosed.
Victorians living in parts of southeast Melbourne are urged to get tested as several mystery cases continue to cause concern for health authorities
Anyone who lives or spends time in Glen Eira and Port Phillip local councils in southeast Melbourne were in particular urged to get tested.
Health officials said they should get tested not only if they had been to exposure sites, but if they had any symptoms or ‘even if they are unsure’.
Health Department deputy secretary Kate Matson issued a stark warning to anyone who had been in the city’s south and south-east with more than 50 exposure sites stretching from South Melbourne to Brighton.
‘These cases aren’t linked by age. They’re not linked by faith. They aren’t all in the same book club. They’re not all on the same footy club. The only thing they share is geographic proximity,’ she said Tuesday.
Victorian health authorities are pleading for residents of south-east Melbourne to get tested for COVID-19 as the number of mystery cases in the city continues to grow
Health deputy secretary issued a stark warning to anyone who had been in the city’s south and south-east with more than 50 exposure sites stretching from South Melbourne to Brighton
The five mystery cases in the beachside suburb of St Kilda are worrying Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton, who has insisted testing rates are currently too low.
‘We want to see more tests right across the area because it’s becoming a real concern for us,’ Professor Sutton said in Tuesday night’s coronavirus update.
‘We need more tests to track down unidentified chains of transmission and protect the whole local community.’
There are two other mystery cases, in Dandenong and Middle Park – people who both work in St Kilda but at unrelated buildings.
‘These cases got the virus from somewhere. The virus is circulating in those geographic areas,’ Ms Matson said.
‘We are concerned that there are cases here that we do not yet know about.’
‘We know there are several hundred thousand people in these LGAs who are unvaccinated in this age group, and this is a great opportunity for them to come forward and get their jab,’ NSW Health Deputy Secretary Susan Pearce said on Wednesday.
‘We’re doing everything we can to get doses into arms and I’d like to thank our local health districts for their mammoth effort.’
The additional doses were sent to Australia from Poland after negotiations with the Eastern European country to take surplus doses off its hands.
NSW residents aged 16-39 who live in Sydney’s 12 LGA’s of concern will be able to book in to receive two of the 530,000 extra Pfizer doses secured by the federal government (pictured, a woman received a vaccine at a clinic in Lakemba)
While 530,000 of the one million extra jabs will be fast-tracked to Sydney’s 12 LGA’s of concern, the rest will be allocated to states and territories on a per capita basis.
About 175,000 of the doses will be sent to Victoria, where Melbourne is in its sixth lockdown with case numbers continuing to balloon, including 24 on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the current outbreak in NSW was a ‘key factor’ in Poland’s decision to part ways with the extra jabs.
The entire state of NSW is locked down with tight restrictions but authorities are concerned that 70 per cent of transmission is occurring in homes.
The vaccination blitz will target residents aged between 16-39 years who are believed to be driving the spread of the virus through the city’s Covid-hit west and south west due to their mobility in the community (pictured, health care workers at Perth Airport on Monday)
The likelihood of household transmission is reduced by about 50 per cent by three to four weeks after vaccination.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said those aged between 16-39 years of age would be targeted to receive the jabs because of how active they were in their communities.
‘They are the ones that are mobile because of their work. They are the ones who cross three generations, and they are ones who were part of the 70 per cent of cases we are currently experiencing in those most problematic areas,’ she said.
WHERE YOU CAN BOOK IN TO GET A PFIZER VACCINE TODAY
Residents aged 16-39 in the 12 LGA’s of concern will be able to book appointments for two doses of the Pfizer vaccine from 9am on Wednesday at nsw.gov.au for the following clinics:
Bankstown Vaccination clinic, Bankstown PCYC, Cnr French Ave &, Meredith St
Bayside Vaccination clinic, Novotel Brighton-Le-Sands, Cnr Grand Pde and, Princess St
Liverpool Vaccination clinic, Ngara Education Centre, (via Governor Macquarie Drive), 52 Scrivener St , Warwick Farm
NSW Health Vaccination Centre, Sydney Olympic Park, 1 Figtree Drive, Sydney Olympic Park
Prairiewood Vaccination clinic, Prairiewood Youth and Community Centre 194-222 Restwell Rd Prairiewood
Penrith Vaccination Clinic, Penrith Panthers Rugby League Club, 123 Mulgoa Rd, Penrith
Qudos Bank Arena NSW Health Vaccination Centre, 19 Edwin Flack Ave, Sydney Olympic Park
Sonic Healthcare Vaccination Clinic, Hurstville, Hurstville Aquatic Leisure Centre, King Georges Rd &, Forest Rd, Hurstville
Sonic Healthcare Vaccination Clinic, Sydney CBD, 175 Pitt Street Sydney
South Western Sydney Vaccination Centre, Glenquarie Town Centre, Corner Victoria Rd and Brooks Street, Macquarie Fields
Source: NSW Health
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant echoed the premier’s sentiments and said the younger generations were predominantly driving the spread of the virus.
‘Those younger people are the ones who are going out and working on disability homes, aged care homes, childcare, logistics, freight,’ Dr Chant said.
‘And so this will be an intense effort to get one dose of vaccine into that group as quickly as possible.’
According to Australian government figures, as at August 15, 26.2 per cent of Australians aged 16 or over are fully vaccinated and 48 per cent have had at least one dose.
NSW Health administered a record 36,817 Covid-19 vaccines in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday (pictured, a woman receives a Pfizer vaccine in Brisbane last week)
NSW leads the way with 5,237,678 jabs administered, ahead of Victoria, where just under four million have been jabbed.
NSW Health administered a record 36,817 Covid-19 vaccines in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday with the state aiming for six million jabs in arms by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, Deputy Premier John Barilaro says the government is ramping up vaccination efforts in western NSW with 116 Covid cases there and concerns about vulnerable Indigenous communities.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service and ADF troops are working with NSW Health to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible at pop-up clinics.
‘It is already in those communities and this is what is concerning us,’ he told the Nine Network on Wednesday.
‘The mobility in those communities, the shared homes, the houses, we know that with Delta most of the infection is happening in somebody’s home or visiting somebody.
‘I expect it to spike and I expect it to continue to be a problem and that is why we locked down all of regional and rural New South Wales because it was the only way we could contain this,’ he said.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro (pictured) said the NSW government was ramping-up efforts to vaccinate residents in western NSW with 116 active cases of Covid-19 there
Mr Barilaro admitted that mistakes had been made with the Sydney lockdown that began eight weeks ago.
‘Well, look, I think if you can rewrite history we could have gone harder.
‘It wasn’t that we didn’t do it hard and fast, but the Delta strain has escaped us. We don’t want the same in the bush,’ he said.
The total number of vaccines administered in NSW is now 5,237,678 with Gladys Berejiklian saying the state was ‘tracking well’ to hit six million by the end of the month
Nationally, NSW is leading the way with 5,237,678 jabs administered, ahead of Victoria, where just under four million have been jabbed (pictured, an AstraZecenca vaccine)
The Royal Flying Doctor Service and ADF troops are working with NSW Health to jab as many people as quickly as possible at pop-up clinics in an effort to boost vaccination rates (pictured, a testing location in West Dubbo)