The Sydney lockdown was extended for a week after New South Wales recorded another 27 local Covid cases and health officials raised concerns about the increasing spread of the virus in some southwestern suburbs.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the decision to extend the lockdown was difficult but necessary.
“We appreciate and understand the stress that this means for individuals, for families and, of course, for businesses. But what would be much worse is to be in a situation where you have to live in and out of the confinement until that period of time in which we have the vaccine available, “he told reporters on Wednesday.
“That is not a way of life and we want to give our citizens the best chance to stay safe and healthy.”
Thirteen of the new cases were not isolated during their infectious period, a factor that contributed to the decision to extend the closure until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 16.
Berejiklian highlighted three areas of local government – Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool – urging residents there to follow public health orders and limit their movement.
He said there were “troubling statistics about what is happening” in those LGAs, warning that the government would consider stricter restrictions there if the number of cases continued to rise.
“Can I tell the communities in those areas, many have backgrounds similar to mine, please don’t mix with my family? I have not seen my parents since the confinement began, it is difficult, “said the prime minister. “Can I tell everyone not to mix with the family, not to think it’s okay to visit your cousins or have sleepovers? Please don’t leave the house. “
However, providing care, even to family, is still an acceptable reason to leave home. continuous sanitary orders.
The extension of the lockdown means that students across the city will return to online learning for one week, with exceptions for students whose parents are essential workers.
Eighteen of the 27 locally acquired cases reported Wednesday were linked to previous cases, 11 were close contacts and seven were household contacts from a previous case. Berejiklian said he expected the number of cases to be higher again on Thursday.
When asked if the social consequences of the confinement would ever prove “too great,” New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard suggested that a change of approach might be necessary in the future.
“I believe that at some point, if the people we need do not listen to Dr. Chant’s message and do not respond, at some point we will go to a stage where we will have to accept that the virus has a life that will continue in the community.” Hazzard said. “But we are doing a lot of effort right now to make sure we can do everything we can to suppress that virus, and now is a critical time.”
‘Call for attention to young people’
New South Wales Health Director Dr Kerry Chant said 37 people had been admitted to the hospital during the outbreak, eight of whom were under 35, including one person in their 30s in intensive care. .
“Of the seven people in the ICU, one is 30 years old, a kind of wake-up call for young people.”
Hazzard was also asked about the “accidental” vaccination of 163 students at St Joseph’s College on Sydney’s north shore.
“You know what? The school did well. There was a mistake and so what? It happened. Out of a million shots. Keep going,” he said.
Chant had previously apologized for the confusion that resulted in students receiving the Pfizer vaccine while they were not yet technically eligible.
“That was a misunderstanding, a lack of communication, a misstep. Sydney’s local health director has apologized for that. “
Federal government rejects NSW request for worker to return
Berejilkian also used his latest press conference to advocate for New South Wales to receive more revenue support from the federal government.
“I can confirm treasurer [Dominic] Perrottet has been in contact with his federal counterpart regarding supporting people and what that means during this time, ”he said.
But Frydenberg immediately granted the request.
“We are not bringing Jobkeeper back,” he said. “That was an emergency support payment that we introduced at the height of the pandemic.”
Ten Queensland Hospital Workers in Isolation
Ten hospital employees on the Sunshine Coast were isolated after treating a Covid-positive patient who suffered anaphylactic shock.
Health workers, who did not have time to put on personal protective equipment, are now isolated.
The patient is believed to have had an adverse reaction to a contrast agent, which was injected prior to a planned MRI. It is understood that he was being taken from the Covid ward to a separate area of the hospital for examination when he went into shock.
Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service Acting Executive Director Andrew McDonald told Sunshine Coast Daily staff that they were “risking their lives” to provide life-saving treatment.
The patient is now in a stable condition. Each of the 10 staff members was ordered to quarantine for 14 days.
Queensland previously recorded a new locally acquired case – a close contact from a previously reported case that was caught in home quarantine.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was “very good news” and that “Queenslanders should be extremely happy.”
Victorian restrictions were eased
In Victoria, the state government took steps to ease some restrictions, including lifting the mandate for masks in schools and private workplaces starting Friday.
It will still be necessary to wear masks in “indoor, public-facing settings,” but it will not be necessary in workplaces that do not interact with the public.
Density limits were also lifted in Melbourne, allowing one person for every two square meters, coinciding with density restrictions in the Victoria region.
Places affected by that change include hospitality, gymnasiums and physical recreation venues, community facilities, creative studios, and places of worship.
The stadiums will also be able to fill up to 75% of their capacity, with a maximum capacity of 40,000 people.
But Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley said the limit on the number of visitors to the home would remain at 15 people.
The recently relaxed restrictions will remain in place for another 14 days, before the government reviews them again. Victoria has gone a week without registering any new locally acquired cases.
– with Amy Remeikis and Ben Smee