NSW records 124 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest increase since outbreak began

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New South Wales has recorded its highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases since the current outbreak began.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday confirmed 124 locally acquired cases had been recorded in the 24-hour period to 8pm on Wednesday, from more than 85,000 tests.

“Unfortunately, case numbers have gone up again,” she told reporters.

“There’s no doubt, again, that we anticipate case numbers will continue to go up before they start coming down and we need to brace ourselves for that.”

Of the new cases, at least 48 were in the community while infectious.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Credit: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

“It’s cruel how contagious this virus is,” the premier added, “any human contact means you can pick up or spread the virus”.

“It is spreading like we’ve never seen before.”

Since the Greater Sydney outbreak began on June 16, there have been 1,648 cases and five people have died.

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Greater Sydney has days to wait to see if stricter lockdown rules to contain a COVID-19 Delta strain outbreak have worked.

On Wednesday, Berejiklian said the virus must be quashed before restrictions can be lifted but the premier won’t be drawn on whether her government could go harder if daily case numbers don’t start to improve.

The lockdown is due to end on July 30.

– with AAP

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