Will lockdown be extended in Sydney after 112 new cases? Gladys Berejiklian responds to experts’ fears
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has conceded it is “nearly impossible” that lockdown will be lifted on Friday as the possibility of a lengthy shutdown looms.
There were 112 new local cases reported on Monday, the highest daily increase in 15 months.
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Lockdown measures imposed on Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong are due to expire at midnight on Friday.
But Berejiklian all but confirmed that wouldn’t be happening, with cases active while infectious in the community.
At least 46 of the cases reported on Monday spent time in the community during their infectious period, with a further 18 being interviewed by NSW Health.
Experts fear that number remaining high could see the lockdown extended for as long as a month.
Professor Raina MacIntyre of the Kirby Institute told Weekend Sunrise on Saturday the state was on a knife-edge.
“If we do not get this under control in the next few days, it could be very grim, and it could take much longer than we want to get it under control,” she said.
“In the best-case scenario, I think at least the rest of the month. In the worst-case scenario, even longer.”
Addressing those concerns on Monday, Berejiklian said driving active community cases down through community compliance would dictate how long lockdown lasted for.
“That depends on how quickly our community responds to those cases that are infectious in the community. It is really up to us,” she said.
“The health expert advice will be based on what those numbers look like. I can’t be clearer than that.
“So at the moment, yesterday, we had 34 cases where people were infectious, we understand, for the entire duration of their illness.
“That’s the number we need to get as close to zero as possible.”
There were 112 cases of COVID-19 reported on Monday.
“I want to stress again we are in an absolutely critical phase of this disease,” Berejiklian said.
“All of us want to get out of this lockdown as soon as we can.
“All of us want to reduce the stress we are all feeling, the future is in our hands.”
There were more than 46,000 test results processed in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.