NSW Gets Upper Hand Over COVID-19 Cases

August 21, 2020 Updated: August 21, 2020

NSW has recorded its lowest number of COVID-19 cases in almost two months, with the state appearing to have regained control after infections creeped in from Victoria.

The state reported only one person testing positive to coronavirus in the 24 hours to 8pm on Aug 20.

The NSW government’s response has been lauded by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who praised Premier Gladys Berejiklian while speaking after a national cabinet meeting on Friday.

“I commend the NSW government for keeping NSW open (and) always leaning forward to keeping NSW open,” he told reporters in Canberra.

He noted Berejiklian had dealt with the fight against the virus with the “key weapons” of testing, tracing and outbreak containment.

“They have backed the weapons that they have built and formed to combat this virus and they have done it each and every day.”

“They haven’t been intimidated when things haven’t always gone the way they would like.”

Berejiklian made the decision to close the border in early July as Victoria struggled to contain a second wave of coronavirus. It is the only border closure Berejiklian has announced during the pandemic.

Every other state has kept its borders closed to NSW, with the exception of Queensland, which briefly opened to NSW before again locking out its southern neighbour in early August.

The new case announced on Friday is a close contact of a previously reported case at Hornsby Hospital, and went into isolation before becoming infectious, NSW Health said.

The single case increase is the lowest since July 3, when the state recorded zero COVID-19 cases.

But chief health officer Kerry Chant says testing remains vital as authorities continue to investigate several cases with no known source.

Tiffanie Turnbull in Sydney