Worst day of the pandemic so far: 262 new cases, 5 deaths

Illustration of the ultrastructure of the Covid-19 virus. Image: CDC Science Photo Library.

By DAMIEN NOVAK

NSW has reached a new apogee in the Covid-19 pandemic, posting a record 262 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

Five people have also died of Covid-19 during the reporting period, bringing the death toll from the Delta outbreak to 21. 

A further eight local government areas in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley have been plunged into lockdown for a week, after five cases were recorded in the area. 

Meanwhile, traces of Covid have been found in sewage in Armidale, Dubbo, Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and Port Stephens, sparking concerns of a significant incursion across the state. 

Of the 262 new cases in NSW, at least 45 were active in the community while infectious. Of the five deaths, four were unvaccinated, while one had received one dose of the Astra Zeneca Covid vaccine, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told today’s 11am Covid press conference. 

A record 290 people are now in hospital in NSW due to Covid-19, 59 of whom are in ICU, including 21 people on ventilators.

“Not excuse not go and get vaccinated”

Speaking about the situation, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard slammed anti-vaxxers.

“I can hear otherwise intelligent people saying I’m not going to get vaccinated,” he told this morning’s media conference.

“Stop being selfish, stop putting front-line healthcare, there to look after you when you get the virus [at risk]. Five people have lost their life, 70 per cent of all the cases are now under the age of 40 – for heaven’s sake, get real, come join us, go and get vaccinated where you can get it.”

The Health Minister said there were now multiple options for vaccination.

“There’s (sic) numerous options now. There’s (sic) options through GPs, pharmacists, through the various state hubs, and of course the Federal Government has come on board, offering in the next few weeks, drive-ins,” he said.

“There’s no excuse. There’s no excuse to not go and get vaccinated.”

More Pfizer coming

The Premier said NSW would receive an extra 180,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine over the next fortnight, after she spoke to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“This is very positive news. It means that in the week of 16 August, we can redirect those doses we had taken from the regions for the HSC students and it also means we can put the balance into those eight local government areas in Greater Sydney of concern,” she said.

Ms Berejiklian said she was grateful HSC students would be able to sit their exams as a result of the extra Pfizer doses.

“We’re keen to make sure everybody sits the public exams that are required. Keen to make sure there is little to no risk to students when they do that,” she said.

A total of 25,196 Covid-19 vaccine doses were administered in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm last night, bringing to total number of doses administered in the state to 4,137,863.

For information on Covid-19 vaccinations in NSW, including your nearest vaccination location, visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/health-and-wellbeing/covid-19-vaccination-nsw.