First Death of NSW Outbreak, 77 New Cases

By AAP
AAP
AAP
July 10, 2021 Updated: July 10, 2021

NSW has recorded 77 new local COVID-19 cases as the state’s treasurer admits lockdown will likely be extended and more government assistance will be needed.

One person has also died, the first COVID-19 death of the current outbreak.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that of the 77 new cases in the 24 hours to 8 p.m. on Saturday, only 32 were in isolation for the entirety of their infectious period.

The person who died was a southwest Sydney woman in her 90s. She was a close contact of a locally-acquired case and was deemed virus-positive on Saturday.

She is the first person to die since the Bondi cluster emerged on June 16, and the 57th person in NSW to die since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.

The woman is also the first person to catch COVID-19 locally in Australia in 2021 and die.

“Over 50 of the 77 (cases) are close family members, close family members of those who’ve been infected,” Berejiklian told reporters.

“When you get COVID, unfortunately those most impacted are those closest to you, and tragically we’ve seen one older person die and I want to extend my deepest condolences to their family and loved ones.”

There are now 15 COVID-19 patients in NSW in intensive care, with five ventilated.

The NSW treasurer, meanwhile, has acknowledged the state government will need to stump up significantly more financial assistance to businesses and individuals as the likelihood of a long-term Greater Sydney lockdown grows.

He said the NSW government may also make use of federal income support platforms to administer state government-funded financial assistance, if required.

The lockdown of Greater Sydney is due to end on July 16 but both Berejiklian and Treasurer Dominic Perrottet have in recent days admitted it will likely be extended.

Perrottet on Sunday said he expected the lockdown provisions to be extended and this would, in the absence of JobKeeper, cause major damage to businesses and workers.

He said the government would thus be obliged to splash more cash on assistance, and that a second business support package would be announced later this week.

NSW has already spent $1.4 billion on business support amid the current lockdown.

“Last year there didn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel whereas now the vaccine program is rolling out across the state—this gives hope this will hopefully be the last time we have to go through this,” Perrottet told Sky News.

“We’re going to have to do more, that’s just the reality.”

Perrottet was reportedly opposed to the extension of the initial two-week lockdown in Greater Sydney and surrounds due to its effect on business.

NSW Health on Saturday issued numerous alerts for venues of concern across Sydney.

They include Coles at Kareela, a KFC in Rockdale, Penrith Barbeques Galore, a Bunnings in Padstow, and a popular cafe in Centennial Park.

The Broadway Shopping Centre in Ultimo posted on social media it had been alerted to a COVID-positive shopper who visited on Thursday.

Several major outlets, including Aldi, Kmart, and JB Hi-Fi, were visited by the case and NSW Health on Saturday evening listed the centre as a venue of concern.

As case numbers grow, Berejiklian urged Sydneysiders to adhere to lockdown rules.

After a further update to public health orders, Sydneysiders are now required to wear masks in all indoor areas of construction sites and common areas of apartment blocks.

The new rules come after city-wide restrictions were tightened on Friday afternoon, with exercise now limited to groups of two and only one person per day from each household allowed to leave the house to go shopping.

AAP
AAP