Victorians carrying COVID-19 may already be spreading the disease to Sydneysiders after Melbourne recorded 41 new cases overnight.
Sydney University clinical epidemiologist Fiona Stanaway (pictured) said it is ‘possible’ that Victorians have infected people in NSW
Sydney University clinical epidemiologist Fiona Stanaway said it is ‘possible’ that Victorians have infected people in NSW.
But since the incubation period for coronavirus is one to 14 days, it could take up to two weeks before NSW residents infected by Victorians begin to show symptoms.
‘Whether or not something will appear in a couple of weeks time, we don’t know,’ Dr Stanaway told ABC News.
Victoria had its highest jump in coronavirus cases for almost three months overnight with eight cases linked to outbreaks, 13 from testing and 19 still being investigated.
Dr Stanaway said people in both NSW and Victoria need to act responsibly to avoid spreading the disease.
If a Victorian developed symptoms while in NSW, ‘the likelihood of them transmitting depends on whether they stay home, whether they go out and are mingling with the community,’ Dr Stanaway said.
Victoria has recorded 41 new coronavirus cases overnight (pictured, a man is tested at a car park testing site by a member of the ADF in Melbourne on Saturday)
People in face masks leave Flinders Street Station on Saturday June 21 (pictured) as the coronavirus continues to infect people in Melbourne
‘How people in NSW are acting around social distancing also has a big impact on how likely it is that the virus can be seeded here.’
Since June 1 there has been 408 coronavirus cases confirmed in Australia with 304 coming from Victoria.
No border closures between NSW and Victoria have seen visitors flocking into Sydney despite government advice not to travel.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Annaliese van Diemen said there are currently 204 active cases in Victoria, with five patients in hospital and one in intensive care.
The Australian Defence Force (pictured in Melbourne on Saturday) have been drafted in to help with the mammoth COVID-19 testing effort
Travellers from Melbourne are seen arriving into Sydney airport on Wednesday (pictured)
Dr van Diemen said it was ‘getting a little bit complicated’ to discuss cases linked to outbreaks as there are ‘quite a number of outbreaks at the moment’.
Victoria has identified six COVID-19 hotspots in the local government areas of Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin.
Almost 22,000 additional tests have been conducted in the past 24 hours.
A ‘suburban testing blitz’ is currently focusing on Keilor Downs and Broadmeadows.
Emergency text messages have been sent to residents in both suburbs.
On Friday, Dr van Diemen acknowledged that about 30 per cent of returned travellers have refused a coronavirus test.
Estimates suggest that this could mean as many as 5,000 people could have left quarantine without a test.
Members of the Australian Defence Force are seen putting on PPE as they were drafted in to help perform thousands of COVID-19 tests in Melbourne on Saturday (pictured)
Victoria has recorded 41 new coronavirus cases overnight (pictured, a man is tested at a car park testing site in Melbourne on Friday)
The fears of a second wave spreading to NSW prompted officials to warn Victorians to stay away.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told travellers from Victoria’s new coronavirus hot spots not to travel to the state, and has told businesses to turn them away if they do.
‘I would definitely encourage organisations to consider who to allow on their premises and where they’re coming from,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘I call on all organisations not to interact with citizens from Melbourne at this stage.
‘Have activity elsewhere and I note a number of organisations have already taken on that advice.
‘And as for resorts and other locations in NSW, they are at liberty to accept or reject any traveller.’
Despite this, hundreds flocked into Sydney this week from Melbourne on flights and by car.
Health workers are seen testing people for COVID-19 in Melbourne on Thursday (pictured)
Passengers carry backpacks through the terminal after the early morning flight from Melbourne to Sydney on Wednesday (pictured)