New South Wales has registered 105 new cases of Covid and the death of a woman in the 90s as residents of greater Sydney adapt to stricter lockdown restrictions designed to slow the rate of infection.
Another day of triple cases followed the death of a woman in the 90s from south-east Sydney on Saturday, the fourth death attributed to the current outbreak.
Of the new cases, Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said 27 had been contagious while in the community.
“That’s the number that worries us the most, we’ve seen that number grow day by day,” she said on Sunday.
A total of 66 of Sunday’s cases were linked to known clusters, while 39 remained under investigation.
The state was not yet to see a significant drop in the number of cases despite some form of lockdown in the capital for three weeks.
Berejiklian said she expected a delay of between five or six days until the number of cases began to decline due to recent restrictions.
“We are throwing everything after this, we want to get out of this lockdown as soon as possible,” she said.
The majority of Sunday’s cases are concentrated in southwestern Sydney, 69 of which are in Fairfield’s local government area.
However, Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said residents had to pay attention no matter where they were in Greater Sydney.
“Every time you leave your house, it’s crucial that you assume you’ll get in touch with Covid,” she said Sunday.
Residents are barred from leaving three council areas unless they are “authorized workers”, while all but critical retailers throughout Sydney are closed.
Home orders were tightened in Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool, where locals were not allowed to leave until 30 July.
Originally, there were only exceptions for workers in health or emergency services, but the list has been significantly expanded to include retail workers in shops as well as teachers, manufacturing and freight drivers. All authorized employees leaving the three local authority areas must complete a Covid test every three days.
Asked about the changing guidelines in the wake of the big announcement, Berejiklian thanked residents for their patience and said “comprehensive” information was now available.
“I am not embarrassed to say that in public life yesterday was probably the hardest day I have personally had,” she said.
The southwestern lockdown has prompted a harsh response from some within the medical community. The Medical Reform Association said enough Pfizer vaccine to administer to all 600,000 adults living in the three municipalities should be given within the next two weeks.
Tighter restrictions now apply throughout the greater Sydney region, including the closure of large and small construction sites.
Supermarkets, pharmacies, banks and few other retailers are allowed to open and must operate with “click and collect” or takeaway.
All office workers and others working from home should not be pressured into going into work, where employers face a $ 10,000 fine if they push staff to attend.
With data modeling based on more than 400 exposure sites indicating that everyone in Sydney is in danger, the Prime Minister said the tougher line was needed.
On Saturday, she defended the measures taken to curb the outbreak so far, saying they had prevented “thousands and thousands” of cases and the further restrictions were a “no withdrawal policy”.
The tougher measures were encouraged by the persistent number of people who were contagious in the community before they were diagnosed.
Residents were assured Saturday that government agencies would mobilize until July 30 to provide them with supplies and services as needed.