Coronavirus crisis: NSW records 105 new cases as eastern states grapple with a growing COVID crisis

Staff reporter, AAP and NCA NewswireThe West Australian
VideoThe Australian city of Sydney on Saturday (July 17) ordered a shutdown of building sites, banned non-essential retail and threatened fines for employers who make staff come into the office as new COVID-19 cases kept rising during a citywide lockdown.

NSW has recorded 105 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and one death overnight — with 27 people still infectious in the community — in the hours after strict new measures came into force.

It is the second death in 24 hours for the State and the third of the most recent outbreak.

A man in his 80s died on Saturday, while the death of a woman in her 90s was reported on Sunday.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said 27 of the new cases had been infectious while in the community.

“That’s the number that worries us the most,” she said on Sunday.

The state is yet to see a significant drop in case numbers following lockdown conditions in the capital for three weeks.

Ms Berejiklian said she expected a lag of between five or six days until case numbers began to drop as a result of the latest restrictions.

“We still want the community to be more vigilant than ever before,” she said.

Stay-at-home orders have been broadened in three Sydney council areas, while in Greater Sydney retail is being restricted and construction totally stopped until at least July 30 as NSW grapples with trying to contain the fast-spreading Delta variant.

Melbourne is also in lockdown, with the prospect of an extension a strong possibility after 16 new infections were reported overnight.

On Saturday, NSW recorded one death and 111 new locally acquired cases — at least 29 of whom were infectious before going into isolation.

Meanwhile, a rowdy protest against strict new measures imposed in Sydney resulted in two people being charged and fines for many others.

About 100 people attended the protest in Bankstown just after 4pm on Saturday, as tensions grew in the COVID-19-riddled region.

VICTORIA

Victorians have been told to brace for an extension to their five day lockdown, with 16 new local COVID-19 cases reported.

The State’s stay-at-home order is due to expire at midnight on Tuesday, but could be extended based on data including case numbers and exposure sites, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said.

“Every Victorian needs to ready themself for what might emerge over the next 24/48 hours,” he said on Saturday.

“All I can say is the response couldn’t have been better. The judgements that have been made around a hard and fast lockdown have been the right ones. And that’s got us on a good track.

“We’ve got settings in place until Tuesday midnight and we will make another assessment every day over the next three days.”

The long list of exposure sites has spread to include regional areas and includes pubs, clubs, restaurants, sporting venues, shopping centres, schools and gyms in metropolitan Melbourne, suburbs and multiple locations at Phillip Island, a two-hour drive south of Melbourne.

WA

WA recorded no new COVID-19 cases overnight, however health authorities are dealing with an unfolding emergency as a cargo ship with seven crew members sick with COVID-like symptoms heads to Fremantle.

The BBC California left Egypt on June 8 and has since visited three ports in Indonesia.

Seven of the 14 crew members aboard became unwell on or about July 12 and the captain has asked for the crew to be medically assessed.

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan says the ship will be able to berth in Fremantle only for medical assessment and a special medical team will go on board.

“We are assuming COVID-19 is on board this ship, so every precaution will be taken,” he told media on Sunday.

The state has seven active cases, of which six are in hotel quarantine.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails