NSW Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, assures that lockdown talk is “exaggerated” amidst opposing concerns and rising cases.
After 16 new covid-19 cases were reported in the last 24 hours, restrictions have been re-introduced to ensure the safety of NSW citizens.
The recent case surge has people fearful that NSW will experience a second lockdown, whilst government officials attempt to ease concern, stating that the prospect of this is currently unlikely.
Brad Hazzard, NSW Health Minister, states that the current restrictions are appropriate for the number and frequency of these cases.
Professor Peter Collington supported Mr Hazzard in stating that the decision to avoid lockdown was reasonable:
“I think the restrictions are appropriate for the risk, based on the information we’ve had“.
Collignon also believes that NSW has the option to enforce more restrictions before opting for a full lockdown.
Amongst his suggestions were a further reduction of household gatherings and closing higher risk venues such as restaurants, gyms and churches.
With an average of 10 to 12 cases per day, and most of those being in isolation, authorities have vowed to exercise a close eye over the situation.
NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has attempted to ease concerns, hinting that the enforcement of a lockdown will not occur unless completely necessary.
Her statement follows news regarding the four unlinked cases and the potential presence of the highly contagious Delta variant, which Mr Hazzard labelled “a gold medallist” when spreading between people.
Contrary to her statement, there is a circulating belief that a NSW lockdown is imminent.
The ABC’s NSW State Political Reporter @AshleighRaper says @gladysb is likely to announce a lockdown by the end of the week, in response to the fast-spreading Sydney COVID cluster. #covid19nsw @abcnews
— Michael Rowland (@mjrowland68) June 23, 2021
Additionally, epidemiologist Dr Abrar Chughtai, mentioned that authorities would consider the state of three key factors before enforcing a lockdown, including:
- the vaccination of the community;
- the kind of cases identified; and
- the virus variant.
He went on to mention that a majorly vaccinated population will significantly reduce the likelihood of a lockdown.
However, his comment fails to ease concerns, with only 20 per cent of the NSW population vaccinated, and a measly 10 per cent of the entire Australian population vaccinated.
Despite the bleak state of a majorly unvaccinated population and slow vaccine rollouts, Dr Chughtai has high hopes surrounding the control of this breakout, with masks as a highly effective preventative method.
Furthermore, residents appear to be taking the restrictions seriously, despite criticism that not enough is being done to prevent the spread of the virus.
‘Sydney’s not taking Covid seriously’. This is the QVB at 9am pic.twitter.com/wuTcOvbWAP
— Amber Robinson (@missrobinson) June 22, 2021
Currently, residents of the seven local government areas, including City of Sydney, Waverly, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra, are barred from travelling outside of Sydney’s metropolitan area non-essential travel.
A growing list of exposure sites is accessible here.