Expert calls for Melbourne-style lockdown measures in Sydney as COVID outbreak spirals

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An expert is calling on Sydney to adopt a Melbourne-style lockdown to quash the spiralling COVID outbreak.

Professor Mark Stoove from the Burnet Institute said on Monday the “numbers speak for themselves”.

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There were 77 new local cases reported by NSW Health on Sunday morning, the highest daily rise in well over a year.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian forewarned it would get worse before it got better, saying she would be “surprised” if cases were below 100 on Monday.

A sign enforcing stay at home orders is seen in Bondi. Credit: MICK TSIKAS/AAPIMAGE

Stoove said a tightening and an extension of the lockdown should be considered to drive numbers down.

“If you look at Victoria’s stage four lockdown, there were five-kilometre limits on movement, all major retail was closed and we had curfews at night,” he told Sunrise.

“As much limiting of movement as possible is necessary.”

He added that, in Melbourne, it took about a fortnight from restrictions coming into effect for a change to be seen on case numbers.

Sunday marked 13 days since lockdown measures were introduced in parts of Sydney.

GLADYS BEREJIKLIAN COVID19 PRESSER
Gladys Berejiklian says the Delta strain is a “game changer”. Credit: AAP

Restrictions were escalated on Friday to further restrict movement.

They prevent people from browsing in retail settings, limit one person from each household leaving to go shopping and restricts outdoor exercise groups to two people.

“It’s going to be a little while yet before the impact of the tougher restrictions come in,” Stoove forecast.

Berejiklian has repeatedly described the outbreak as being in a “critical phase”.

People walk in Melbourne’s Southbank during Melbourne’s lockdown.
People walk in Melbourne’s Southbank during Melbourne’s lockdown. Credit: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

“We are facing the greatest threat that we have faced in New South Wales since the pandemic started,” she said.

“Unless there is a dramatic change, unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the numbers, I can’t see how we would be in a position to ease restrictions by next Friday.”

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