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Coronavirus NSW: 5 new cases

1 month ago 22

There have been five new cases of coronavirus diagnosed in NSW up to 8pm on Wednesday night.

Of these, two are returned travellers in hotel quarantine and three were locally acquired in south west Sydney.

One of the locally acquired case is a contact of a previously reported case linked to the funeral gatherings cluster, another is a woman in her 60s who is an outpatient at Liverpool Hospital, and the third is a man in his 20s – the source of his infection is unknown.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian reiterated her call for residents of south western Sydney to come forward for testing at the slightest of symptoms, as the virus continues to move through the area with no known source.

“We know the virus is circulating in those communities and our anxiety is that we want to reduce the number of unknown cases,” she said.

“There is still at least a case a day which we can't directly or immediately link, and it's important we continue to be able to do so to give confidence to ourselves that we are stopping the virus at every opportunity.”

Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said this was “an incredibly critical phase in our response” to the virus, and that high testing rates needed to continue to help stamp out any chains of the COVID transmission spreading undetected through south western Sydney.

Dr Chant said the recent diagnosis out of Liverpool Hospital had renewed efforts to ensure there is not an outbreak stemming from the building.

“We're looking at community exposures as well as any links to previous cases that have occurred linked to Liverpool Hospital,” she said.

None of Thursday’s announced cases were linked to a security guard working in hotel quarantine at the Marriott in Circular Quay, though authorities remain on high alert for any new cases with links to the man.

Ms Berejiklian claimed a package to help small businesses along the closed border between NSW and Victoria was in the process of being finalised, but could not be drawn on how long the closure would be in effect for.

“In a pandemic, I think it would be courageous to predict beyond a few months,” she said. “But we are taking all the opportunities to plan ahead. We are always hopeful and optimistic.”

The Premier said her main focus in dealing with issues along the border was the safety of residents.

“The last thing that I would want to see is the disease seeding in rural and regional New South Wales,” she said.

“Everything we do is to protect our community, to keep our community safe. I appreciate the challenges that are involved, but consider the alternative. Consider the virus seeping into our regions – that is something that I don't stand for, and we need to make life as easy as possible for those communities suffering on the borders.

“I do appreciate the angst and frustration.”

There has now been a total of 3782 cases of coronavirus in NSW. Eight patients are currently in ICU and five of those are being ventilated.

A total of 28,767 tests were taken from 8pm Tuesday to 8pm on Wednesday, a massive boost to the 19,414 taken the day before.

More to come

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