Almost four weeks since Greater Sydney and its surrounding regions were locked down, daily coronavirus cases in New South Wales have reached a new outbreak high.
In the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, New South Wales recorded 136 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases – up from an earlier record of 124 on Thursday.
At least 53 were active in the community for part or all of their infectious period.
“It is no doubt that the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.
At a crisis Cabinet meeting, Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant advised the government that the situation that exists now in New South Wales is regarded as a national emergency.
As a result, she announced residents from the Cumberland and Blacktown local government areas will also not be allowed to leave those communities unless they’re critical workers.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian had on Thursday said the state must prepare for cases “to go up before they start coming down”, but added they would have ballooned to the thousands if extra restrictions had not been imposed.
The lockdown was first introduced on June 25 for four Sydney local government areas, then expanded to the entire region the next day, before infections spread to Orange and interstate to Victoria.
The lockdown of Greater Sydney is due to end on July 30.
NSW has recorded more than 1600 local cases since the current outbreak began on June 16 with the case of an unvaccinated limo driver.
More to come.