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Australia NSW COVID outbreak sparks testing warning as Premier targets 40,000 swabs per day

01:06  21 june  2021
01:06  21 june  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian wants 40 , 000 people to be tested for COVID -19 each day in a bid to track and contain the growing outbreak in Sydney's eastern suburbs. Key points: The Delta COVID -19 strain has been passed around Sydney's east. It's a particularly infectious variant of the virus, first identified in India. From 4:00pm yesterday, face masks became mandatory in some settings. The so-called Bondi cluster yesterday grew to nine cases. It began when a limousine driver, whose passengers included international airline crew, tested positive for the Delta COVID -19 variant last week.

NSW Covid outbreak : commuters in Sydney wear masks on public transport as the eastern suburbs cluster continues to grow. On Sunday Sydney residents were notified of new potential Covid exposure sites, with more than 1, 000 people in isolation awaiting negative tests . Health authorities in NSW issued an alert for anyone who was in the Salvos store in Bellevue Street in Tempe on Wednesday between 2pm and 3pm, declaring them close contacts and ordering them to isolate for 14 days .

a police car parked in a parking lot: A higher rate of testing means cases will be quickly identified, says Premier Gladys Berejiklian. (ABC News: Tim Swanston) © Provided by ABC News A higher rate of testing means cases will be quickly identified, says Premier Gladys Berejiklian. (ABC News: Tim Swanston)

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian wants 40,000 people to be tested for COVID-19 each day in a bid to track and contain the growing outbreak in Sydney's eastern suburbs.

The so-called Bondi cluster yesterday grew to nine cases.

It began when a limousine driver, whose passengers included international airline crew, tested positive for the Delta COVID-19 variant last week.

Authorities are concerned the virulent strain has been passed around despite "fleeting" contact between the driver, and some of the new infections.

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  ‘Little bit concerned': Higher testing numbers integral to Victoria restrictions decisions Victoria's COVID-19 commander warned the decision on easing rules like the 25km movement limit will be more difficult if testing numbers do not increase.Victoria's COVID-19 commander Jeroen Weimar has warned the decision on easing restrictions such as the ban on travel between Melbourne and the regions ahead of this month's school holidays will be more difficult if testing numbers do not increase in the coming days.

Disturbing warning about testing as outbreak sparks brutal lockdown. Read full article. People are seen queuing at the Covid -19 testing site at Parafield Airport. Source: AAP. As NSW reported more than 32, 000 tests in a 24-hour period in August, Professor Sutton said such a high figure could be detrimental. “I don’t know that you get extra value in 30, 000 or 40 , 000 tests , necessarily,” he said.

The number of daily coronavirus tests in NSW falls to its lowest level since mid-July, sparking warnings that getting swabbed is a "necessary overkill" even as new infections decline. Australia's most populous state has averaged over 20, 000 tests a day since July, after reaching a peak on September 12. But testing has fallen steeply in the past week, despite health authorities insisting the virus is likely still circulating in Sydney. No locally acquired coronavirus infections have been found in NSW in the past two days , prompting governments in Queensland and South Australia to relax their

Ms Berejiklian yesterday said she wanted to see up to 40,000 people get swabbed for the virus each day.

"The quicker we can diagnose cases, the quicker we can get ahead of the transmission of this virus," she said.

There were 24,468 COVID-19 tests reported in NSW to 8:00pm Saturday night, compared with the previous day's total of 26,631.

Ms Berejiklian described the next few days as a critical time for Sydney. 

"The higher the rate of testing, the more confidence we will have that we've captured all cases currently circulating in the community," she said.

"With this current outbreak, we have not experienced a super-spreading event. That is what we want to prevent."

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Testing for COVID -19 relies on a specific type of “nasopharyngeal” medical swab that captures cells harbouring the virus in the nose or throat. Before shipments of swabs are deployed to assessment centres, they have to be validated by Public Health Ontario’s laboratory. Because every jurisdiction battling the pandemic is relying on the same type of swabs to run testing programs, supply chains have jammed in the same way that they have been for medical masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

NSW has recorded 30 new COVID -19 cases linked to the Northern Beaches outbreak , but Premier Gladys Berejiklian says infections have yet to spread to Greater Sydney. Key points: NSW Health recorded 28, 000 tests in the past 24 hours. Testing has not revealed any cases beyond the Northern Beaches outbreak . Further restrictions will be reassessed on Wednesday. Twenty-eight of the cases are directly linked to the Avalon cluster while the other two cases are under investigation but are linked to the Northern Beaches outbreak .

Despite the growing number of cases, the NSW government has not reduced capacities in gyms, hospitality venues and private or public gatherings.

However, from 4:00pm yesterday, face masks became mandatory in several settings in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Shoalhaven and Wollongong local government areas.

Ms Berejiklian also urged people to get immunised, even as she expressed some frustration with the vaccine rollout.

Ms Berejiklian said she had been calling on the federal government for additional doses of vaccines and would raise the issue at national cabinet today.

Ms Berejiklian said NSW had 100 vaccination sites across the state and hoped to open more.

"For us, the issue is supply. If you get us the doses, between the GP network and the NSW government, we will get those jabs in arms but the challenge for us is getting supply and getting those vaccines," she said.

Testing chief 'very unhappy' infected nurse worked multiple sites

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Through intensive testing and monitoring, South Korea has managed to slow the growth of new cases. Health officials there tracked down people with symptoms and even set up drive-through testing , allowing at least 10, 000 people to be tested per day . Government websites and mobile apps disclosed how many Until now, testing in the United States has been done manually, with individual labs performing only 40 to 60 tests a day . Testing has ramped up in recent days — on Monday, the COVID Tracking Project’s count of reported tests rose by 13, 000 , suggesting a surge in the nation’s testing .

NSW Health orders the Jasmins1 Lebanese restaurant in Liverpool to stay closed after it failed to provide records of staffing and patrons — a staff member has since tested positive for COVID -19. The restaurant worker was the only new locally acquired coronavirus infection recorded in the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday. Health authorities have urged people who attended the restaurant for more than one hour at the following times to get tested immediately and isolate for a full 14 days from exposure, regardless of the result of the test .

"The vaccine is our road to freedom, our road to a COVID-normal life but can I say in the interim how important it is, we are nowhere near having vaccinated the majority of our population yet, so all of us have to do the right thing in the next few days."

She urged people to follow the health advice and wear masks, warning that the government may impose more restrictions if the number of cases continued to rise.

"We will reassess what happens beyond Wednesday or Thursday morning but until that time, could everyone please wear those masks in those settings we have asked you to do so."

Meanwhile NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant revealed fragments of the virus had been detected in sewage in Brooklyn, north of Sydney.

She said that was a concern, as no one residing in the area had been recently discharged from hotel quarantine.

People who have previously had COVID-19 can still "shed" the virus for some time after they cease to be infectious.

"We are calling for the community to come forward for testing. At this stage, we have not been able to identify positive cases in the catchment," Dr Chant said.

The Brooklyn area serves about 1,000 people and covers the suburbs of Dangar Island, Carwin, Brooklyn, Mooney Mooney and Cherry Oak point. 

[Zendesk COVID form embed]

Sydney LGAs declared Commonwealth hotspots .
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has declared seven local government areas in Sydney as Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspots. Restrictions reintroduced as Sydney outbreak balloons The hotspot will include the local government areas of City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside and Woollahra.The Federal Government has offered NSW support and assistance.FOLLOW LIVE: Bondi cluster explodes out to 31 casesREAD MORE: Sydney's newest restrictions explained © Nine Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has declared several areas in Sydney as Commonwealth COVID hotspots.

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