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A record 163 local COVID-19 cases recorded in NSW

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 24/07/2021 9News Staff
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 21: NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard at a press conference to provide a COVID-19 update on July 21, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. NSW recorded 110 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. NSW is under strict lockdown as the state continues to record new community COVID-19 cases and work to stop the spread of the highly infectious delta coronavirus strain in the community. (Photo by Mick Tsikas - Pool/Getty Images): NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard (Photo by Mick Tsikas - Pool/Getty Images) © 2021 Getty Images NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard (Photo by Mick Tsikas - Pool/Getty Images)


There have been 163 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in NSW in the last day, a major spike since yesterday and a new daily record.

Of those, 66 were household contacts and 45 were infectious in the community.

There were more than 93,000 test results received, another record.

https://twitter.com/NSWHealth/status/1418737871402401793?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

"Unfortunately cases continue to rise," NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.

"What it's telling us is we have a continuing and growing problem particular in west and southwest Sydney."

He said family transmission and people catching it in shops and workplaces remained the issue.

Mr Hazzard detailed where some of the cases are.

Brad Hazzard wearing a suit and tie: NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard © 9News NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard

Canterbury-Bankstown has 34 new cases, Cumberland has 26, Blacktown has 15 and Liverpool has six.

"We have a continuing and growing problem, particularly in south-west and western Sydney," Mr Hazzard said.

He appealed for people to obey the rules.

"I think the basic message out of all of this is that the community - we really need our community, particularly in southwestern and western Sydney, to stay at home, to hear the message and stay at home," he said.

"And don't intermingle with family members from other households. It will continue to cause massive grief here in Sydney, particularly in western and southwestern Sydney, if family members mix with family members from other households.

"Just, please, stop doing it. Stop."



Hazzard slams interstate reaction

Mr Hazzard reacted to criticism of NSW by other states.

"I want to remind those other states and territories that last time I looked, we were a Commonwealth - we worked together, and it disturbs me that it would appear that all we've ever done to work together has just seemingly been cast aside," he said.

"When we have bushfires, when we have floods, people from our state go to help others."

"I just want to emphasise that from my point of view it is with disappointment that I heard some of the responses from leaders from other states.

"I can't quite see the difference between beating backfires and beating back and addressing the problems of floods, and beating back this COVID virus that could actually, if it gets worse here in New South Wales, could actually create massive problems for the whole country."



Authorities must determine how transmission spreads between households


Video: Concerns NSW local infection numbers will be high again after worst day of current outbreak (9News.com.au)

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An expert said officials need to find out how coronavirus is spreading between households in Sydney in order to slow the outbreak, as the city braces for the latest figures.

Epidemiologist Catherine Bennett from Deakin University in Melbourne said figuring out what's causing transmission is the key to winding the spiralling cases back.

The city's outbreak has ballooned to over 1700 cases with today's numbers expected at 11am, the day after officials dubbed the situation a "national crisis".

Earlier today an expert had warned that officials still need to find out how coronavirus is spreading between households in Sydney in order to quash the outbreak.

Epidemiologist Catherine Bennett from Deakin University in Melbourne said figuring out what's causing transmission is the key to winding the spiralling cases back.

The city's outbreak has ballooned to over 1700 cases with today's numbers expected at 11am, the day after officials dubbed the situation a "national crisis".

"They have got to find those links causing the transmission to spread across households and between households," Dr Bennett told Today.

"So, once they can close those down, you can actually break one transmission link, you can actually see 20 less cases the next week."

Today, tens of thousands of people have woken up in a stricter lockdown, as a ban on people going to work except if they are essential workers was extended.

The so-called ring of steel around the Fairfield, Canterbury Bankstown, and Liverpool LGAs was expanded to include Cumberland and Blacktown.


a man looking at the camera: Epidemiologist Catherine Bennett said experts need to find out how the virus is spreading between families. © Nine Epidemiologist Catherine Bennett said experts need to find out how the virus is spreading between families.

Of the 136 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, 53 were infectious in the community.

"There is no doubt that the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said yesterday.

While the numbers of people infectious in the community are still high, Dr Bennett said without the lockdown the situation would be very different.

"The fact that the numbers have held - now they have gone into the mid-100s, but at the same time, the testing rates are extraordinary and they are now finding more virus that's out there in the community which is critical."

a man in a swing in a park: A man practices Tai chi in Campsie as COVID-19 cases spill into the area. © Getty A man practices Tai chi in Campsie as COVID-19 cases spill into the area.

She dismissed calls from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to set up a "ring of steel" around Sydney.

Plus she said when it is time lockdown will not end suddenly, but restrictions will have to be gradually lifted.



Nurses diagnosed

NSW Health has confirmed 130 staff and patients at the Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital had been forced into isolation after two student nurses tested positive to COVID-19.


a close up of Gladys Berejiklian wearing a pink shirt: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. © Getty NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.


The two cases are not linked and contact tracers are frantically trying to determine how many more people the virus could have spread to.

"Twenty-five staff were identified as close contacts of the first student nurse and have been isolating. There were no patients identified as contacts," the South Western Sydney Local Health District spokesperson told 9News.

a group of people standing outside of a food truck: People shop in Campsie, South West Sydney. © Getty People shop in Campsie, South West Sydney.

"Extensive contact tracing of the second case continues. Five patients and more than 100 staff have been identified as potential contacts and are isolating."

There has been "no impact on the hospital's services or the delivery of care", they said.



Rejection of jabs

After National Cabinet on Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said NSW would not be getting any extra supply of the Pfizer vaccine to curb its outbreak, but second doses may be delayed so more people can get their first jab.

People should now wait six weeks, rather than three.

The lockdown in Sydney was working, Mr Morrison said.

He said the restrictions had prevented coronavirus infections growing exponentially, as it has in other countries.

"In Victoria, when they went through the lockdown, they saw cases rise and rise and rise for many, many weeks while they were in lockdown," Mr Morrison said.

"I would reassure people that what you are doing now is saving lives, it is working to bring this under control."

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