‘Worse to come’ warning after state’s highest daily Covid tally

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (left) and NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Gary Worboys at this morning's media briefing. Image: Image: Gladys Berejiklian/Facebook (live video screenshot).

By PETER HACKNEY

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned that worse is to come after announcing a new record of 633 locally acquired cases of Covid-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night – the highest daily total since the pandemic began.

Fronting this morning’s 11am Covid-19 press conference, the premier said more than 550 of the new cases were recorded in Western and South Western Sydney, while another three people had died.

“What the data is telling us in the last few days is that we haven’t seen the worst of it,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Of the remaining cases, the majority were recorded in Sydney, although a significant cluster has emerged in western NSW, where 23 new cases were recorded – 17 of which were in Dubbo alone. 

Of the three who died – all of whom were in Sydney – two had some level of Covid-19 vaccination. 

While a man in his 60s who died in Liverpool Hospital was unvaccinated, it was a different story for two men in their 70s who died at Nepean Hospital: one had received one Covid-19 jab, while the other was fully vaccinated. 

However, doctors and scientists have repeatedly stated that deaths among the vaccinated are not a cause for undue concern, because while overall deaths from Covid-19 will fall considerably as more people are jabbed, a greater proportion of those who die will have been vaccinated.

In fact, last month, The Conversation reported that majority of people in England now dying from Covid-19 have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

At time of writing, 52 per cent of NSW residents had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 28 per cent had been fully vaccinated, according to NSW Health statistics.

Berejiklian slams ‘rule breakers’

Speaking about today’s Covid figures, which the premier described as a “huge increase”, Ms Berejiklian once again hit out at people “choosing to ignore the rules”, saying their actions were setting the state back.

NSW Police reported more than 400 examples yesterday of people who had left their homes while they were supposed to be in isolation.

One man was slapped with a $5,000 fine after telling police he was putting the bins out when he had, in fact, left his property.

“Imagine if, out of those hundreds and hundreds of people doing the wrong thing, a couple have [the virus] … that sets all of us back,” the premier said.

All up, police issued 736 penalty infringement notices yesterday to people breaching the public health orders.

Chant ‘extremely concerned’

NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant said data showed that each person infected with Covid-19 was, on average, passing the virus on to more than one person.

“I can’t express enough my level of concern at these rising numbers of cases,” she said.

There are currently 462 people with Covid-19 in NSW hospitals, 77 of whom are in intensive care, with 25 on ventilators. 

Dr Chant said those in hospital ran the gamut of age groups from teenagers through to people in their 80s.

“We know that for every one of those individuals in ICU, particularly those in the older age groups, they have a real and material risk of death,” she said.

“We will see more admissions and more deaths if these numbers continue to increase.”

Dr Chant reiterated previous calls for people to get vaccinated – and to get tested if they showed even the mildest possible symptoms of Covid-19.

Peter Hackney is the editor-in-chief of the Sydney Sentinel.

===========================================