Australia coronavirus live news: 136 new cases announced in NSW Covid update; Victoria records 14 cases; Pfizer vaccine approved for 12-15 year olds
Premier Gladys Berejiklian says 53 of the new cases were infectious in the community; northern NSW on alert after Covid fragments found in Byron Bay sewage; national cabinet to meet to discuss vaccine rollout. Follow live
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NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant is back after a few days, and she is speaking to the tighter restrictions she has recommended.
I have advised the government today that this is a national emergency and requires additional measures to reduce the case numbers. What we are seeing is that the actions we have taken to date have averted many cases.
But what we are not seeing is the turnaround that we would have liked to see at this stage. And I’m concerned that we need to put in place urgent additional measures, what I’m recommending strongly is that our vaccination efforts are refocused on those affected LGAs. Every day, people from those LGAs have to go out to work to keep our city going.
We also know that, as I indicated that the group of workers that keep the society going is this group of workers in the 20 to 49 year old age group in south-western Sydney. Under 40s would not have been routinely eligible for vaccination, in terms of Pfizer. And what I’ve recommended to government is we urgently do mass vaccination of those workers to stem the transmission risk. We know the vaccines do that because they reduce the risk. If you’re vaccinated, even one dose, it reduces your risk of onward transmission.
Gladys Berejiklian has announced a new Covid death in her state, a 89-year-old male.
Details of the death are brief as the death is recent (it happened after 8pm last night) and authorities want to make sure family members have been notified.
I also want to say that tragically, as we see more cases, develop, we will also see more hospitalisations and more people in intensive care and regrettably, we did have an additional death overnight, which I’ve only just learned about.
I just want to foreshadow that unfortunately, we’re going to see more of this as the case numbers increase.