Lisa Wilkinson has slammed Gladys Berejiklian’s handling of the latest Covid outbreak in Sydney, saying the hopeful ‘green shoots’ that were once growing are now starting to ‘wither’.
The Project host made a damning series of comments about the New South Wales’ leader’s management of the crisis, which has seen 1,648 cases since in just five weeks, saying she ‘may regret’ criticising her Victorian counterpart.
Another 124 Covid-19 cases were recorded on Thursday in NSW with a worrying 48 still infectious in the community and 57 still yet to be linked to known clusters.
Ms Berejiklian had earlier said there were ‘green shoots’ starting to show in the state’s battle against the virus thanks to lockdown, but cases have since skyrocketed and Greater Sydney’s restrictions have no end in sight.
‘Gladys has been telling us for days there is all the green shoots, but we watched them wither on the vine today with her words predicting that in the coming days, it is only going to get worse,’ Ms Wilkinson said on Thursday night.
‘When you look at her body language, we’re imagining how worse it will be.’
Sydney hospitals now have 118 people being treated for the virus, with 28 in intensive care and 14 breathing through a ventilator.
The outspoken presenter also compared the handling of recent outbreaks in both NSW and Victoria, and added Ms Berejiklian may regret being ‘disparaging’ of her neighbouring state’s premier, Daniel Andrews.
Some have criticised the Berejiklian government for waiting too long to plunge the city into lockdown with 82 infections recorded before the restrictions were imposed.
‘The green shoots are there. The green shoots of the lockdown doing what we hoped it would are there,’ the premier first said on July 3, a week after telling Sydneysiders to stay home.
Victoria on the other hand was ordered to stay at home almost immediately after recording 18 infections which were linked to the Sydney outbreak.
Last year, the southern state suffered a gruelling 112-day lockdown.
Ms Wilkinson told her fellow co-hosts in Melbourne that many NSW residents envied their handling of the outbreak with just 26 new infections recorded on Thursday.
Lisa Wilkinson compared the handling of recent outbreaks in both NSW and Victoria on The Project on Thursday night and added Ms Berejiklian may regret her ‘disparaging’ of her neighbouring state’s Premier Daniel Andrews
Another 124 Covid-19 cases were recorded on Thursday in NSW with a worrying 48 still infectious in the community and 57 still yet to be linked to known clusters. (pictured Bronte Beach is seen filled with crowds on Thursday)
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‘I’m wondering if she (Ms Berejiklian) regrets being disparaging about Dan Andrews and how he handled things?,’ she said.
‘In New South Wales, we’re looking at Victoria and how quickly you went into lockdown and how tight the numbers are staying and thinking that’s what we should have done,’ she said.
Co-host Carrie Bickmore said she was surprised to hear so many Victorians were doing the right thing.
‘I was watching the Covid commander saying of the 436 homes police checked to ensure people were isolating, everybody was at home doing the right thing and I thought what a change, a year on,’ she said.
Police are seen patrolling the streets of Sydney’s eastern suburbs on Thursday
The New South Wales Premier had earlier said there were ‘green shoots’ starting to show in the state’s battle against the virus but cases continue to grow and Greater Sydney in the midst of its fourth week of lockdown with no end in sight
‘That’s pretty, pretty extraordinary. That everybody is just going, ”I’ll do what I’ve got to do”.’
The spike in cases recorded in NSW on Thursday is the highest during Sydney’s latest outbreak; the last time there were this many infections found in NSW in one day was during the first wave in April 2020.
Of the new locally-acquired cases, 54 were found in south-west Sydney and another 40 were found in the city’s west, in a worrying sign authorities have failed to contain the outbreak.
Ms Berejiklian said on Thursday Covid-19 was still spreading rapidly in the city’s west and south-west in households and workplaces, and warned Sydney’s lockdown would likely continue in some form beyond the scheduled July 30 expiry date.
‘This disease is so contagious and when you have, literally – in one industry – thousands of people moving around, that means potentially thousands of cases of transmission every day,’ she said.
‘I suspect case numbers will get worse before they get better.
‘The strongest message we can give everybody at this time is please stay at home. It’s cruel how contagious this virus is. Any human contact means you can pick up or spread it.’
The spike in cases recorded in NSW on Thursday is the highest during Sydney’s latest outbreak (pictured residents is seen in a deserted Martin Place)
NSW Executive Director Health Protection Dr Jeremy McAnulty called for higher levels of testing in south-west and western Sydney in Toongabbie, Mount Druitt, Rooty Hill, Fairfield, Liverpool and Bankstown as well as in high-risk areas across the city’s south.
Those areas are Narwee and the Georges River and Bayside LGAs.
The number of patients in NSW hospitals suffering from Covid-19 has reached 118, of which 28 are in intensive care (up five from Wednesday) and 14 (up three from Wednesday) are on ventilation.
Fairfield continues to record the highest number of cases of any local government area – with health officials finding 30 Covid-19 infections in the region in the last day alone.