Australia

NSW records 141 new local COVID-19 cases and two deaths, including a woman in her 30s

New South Wales has recorded 141 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and two related deaths. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejikilian said two women – one in her 70s and one in her 30s with no pre-existing conditions – died overnight. 

“If anybody think this is a disease just affecting older people, please think again,” she said on Sunday. 

“I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to those families, their loved ones who are grieving today, but please note that younger people without pre-existing conditions can also fall victim to this cruel disease.”

The daily number of new cases continues to remain above 100, with 141 new infections recorded. Thirty-eight people were infectious in the community out of over 102,000 tests. 

Ms Berejiklian urged Sydneysiders to focus on reducing the number of people infectious in the community, as she condemned the anti-lockdown protests attended by thousands on Saturday. 

“It just broke my heart that people had such a disregard for their fellow citizens,” she said. 

Warning of more charges over anti-lockdown protest

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said more charges are expected to be laid over Saturday’s anti-lockdown protest.

“The investigation into people’s behaviour yesterday will continue for some time, so I expect over the next few days and perhaps weeks that that number of penalty infringement notices will continue to be high.”

At least 57 protesters have been charged and 510 fines have been issued.

NSW Police release footage from anti-lockdown protest

He said police officers suffered minor injuries after being assaulted, and two men have been charged over allegedly striking a police horse.

“The behaviour was absolutely disgusting. It will not be tolerated.”

He urged people to submit photos and videos to CrimeStoppers to help police identify protesters.

Fears of virus spread

Ms Berejiklian said there are concerns the anti-lockdown protest in Sydney’s CBD could be a “super-spreader event”, delaying the end of the lockdown, set to end on 30 July.

“I hope that it is not a setback, but it could be,” she said. 

“This is a horribly cruel disease, and that is why our response has been so strong against it. But we rely on people not only to do the right thing, but not to openly, openly threaten the health and safety of the broader community.”

Ms Berejiklian urged people to get vaccinated, after ATAGI updated its advice on Saturday urging all adults in Greater Sydney to consider having the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

“With low rates of vaccination, we’ve managed to keep the disease at bay, but we need to do more in terms of our settings and the rates of vaccination which is why I’m urging now, based on the newest health advice, please come forward and get vaccinated.

“All adults, everybody over the age of 18 should come forward and get vaccinated.”

Bereavement event results in 28 COVID-19 cases

Contact tracers are attempting to at least 50 people at a bereavement gathering in Pendle Hill in Sydney’s west. Twenty-eight COVID-19 cases have been identified from the event.

“We have been working with community leaders in that area to make sure that people in that gathering are isolated and getting tested,” said Jeremy McAnulty from NSW Health.

Ms Berejiklian said she urged people to maintain physical distance, saying she remains optimistic that the state can overcome the current lockdown.

“Please know we are doing remarkably well across the state in keeping the virus at bay, but it only takes a couple of incidents to cause these setbacks.

“I have absolute confidence that in the coming weeks, all of us will see the fruits of the sacrifices that we’ve put forward, but also the opportunities we have to lead the way in living a life alongside COVID, which is much freer and much safer than what we’ve lived in the past.”

Mr McAnulty said the majority of the new COVID-19 cases were in western and south-western Sydney. 

He urged people to come forward for testing in areas where virus fragments were detected in wastewater, including in Byron Bay and Moss Vale in southern NSW. 

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