Australia

NSW records 1,542 COVID-19 cases with numbers growing in inner Sydney

The deaths reported in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday include a man in his 30s, a woman in her 40s, two people in their 50s, a man in his 60s, a man in his 70s and a woman in her 80s who died in hospital.

A man his 60s from western Sydney and a man in his 70s from Sydney’s south died at home. 

“All of these individuals had underlying health conditions,” NSW Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Marianne Gale said. 

“Three were fully vaccinated, three had had a single dose of a vaccine and three were unvaccinated.”

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Dr Gale said case numbers remain high in western and south-western Sydney, particularly in Fairfield, Bankstown, Greenacre, Liverpool, Punchbowl, Auburn, Guildford and Merrylands.

Authorities remain concerned about cases emerging in inner Sydney and inner-west suburbs, with people in those areas being urged to come forward for testing and vaccination. 

There are currently 1,156 patients admitted to hospital with 207 in intensive care, 89 of whom require ventilation. 

Ms Berejiklian said 76.4 per cent of the state’s adult population has now received one vaccine dose, while 43.6 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Premier to stop giving daily COVID-19 updates

On Friday, Ms Berejiklian announced she and Health Minister Brad Hazzard will stop giving daily updates ahead of the anticipated peak in the state’s outbreak. 

“Sunday will be the last day we officially do a press conference in this way,” she said. 

“From Monday at 11am, [NSW] Health will provide a daily health update [via an online video] and myself and [Health Minister Brad] Hazzard or any other relevant minister will present to the community on a needs basis.”

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When questioned by reporters about the decision, Ms Berejiklian insisted she is always accountable and will “turn up when I need to”. 

“I can assure people of this state and they can judge me on my record, whenever I need to speak directly to the public, I absolutely will. But we also have to make sure that as a government, we normalise the way we do things everyday.” 

She said case numbers will continue to be released until the state reaches its 70 per cent double-dose vaccination target for eligible adults, but that vaccination and hospital rates will be the “important figures” moving forward. 

It comes after the state government announced its path out of lockdown on Thursday, with a raft of restrictions set to ease from the Monday after the 70 per cent double-dose target is reached. These will only be offered to those who have received both vaccine doses. 

Eased outdoor recreation rules from Monday

Ms Berejiklian said some “tweaks” have been made to the slight easing of outdoor recreation rules set to kick in from Monday. 

Within the 12 local government areas (LGAs) of concern, people in a household who are fully vaccinated can gather for two hours for outdoor recreation, in addition to unlimited exercise. 

For those who live outside the LGAs of concern, up to five fully vaccinated adults can engage in outdoor recreation, with children now not included in that total. 

Lockdown restrictions will lift in some regional areas from Saturday.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said cases overnight were stable in regional and rural NSW, but that case numbers in the Illawarra region remain high. 

He welcomed the Queensland government’s decision to reopen its border to the 12 LGAs of concern from Monday.

SBS is providing live translations of daily New South Wales and Victoria COVID-19 press conferences in various languages. Click here for more information.

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