With a further 239 new local COVID-19 cases recorded in the last reporting period to Sunday, New South Wales is continuing to battle a worsening Delta outbreak.
By the time of the state’s first coronavirus press conference for the month of August, contact tracers had managed to link 115 of the new infections to known cases, with 124 remaining under investigation.
Along with the state’s list of exposure sites continuing to boom, equally concerning is the number of 61 people out of the total number of new patients who were infectious in the community for either whole, or part, of the incubation period.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian issued a vaccination challenge for the next four weeks, stating that the higher vaccination rates are, “the more options we have moving forward.”
“Let August be the month that we break records in vaccinations because that is our ticket to freedom,” she said.Ms Berejiklian said the state was on track to administer 500,000 jabs a week.
And while 10 million vaccine doses, required for the state government’s target of 80 per cent, remains the bigger picture goal, the Premier said that even reaching a 50 per cent would allow for restrictions to ease.
“The challenge for us is getting as many people vaccinated in August as possible, so by the time August 28 [when lockdown was extended to] comes around, we have options as to how we can ease restrictions.”
But the state’s Health Minister Brad Hazzard stated unsure of whether the Delta outbreak would be under control by then.
“I’m not going to postulate that at this stage. We’re focused on getting our vaccine up. We are quite concerned at the numbers continuing to remain relatively high, they’re bouncing around,” he said speaking to ABC Insiders on Sunday morning.
On positive take-outs for the past 24 hours to Sunday, Ms Berejiklian pointed to the fact that the virus “has not in the main, spread outside those eight local government areas of concern.”
It comes as Victoria reached a vaccination milestone, with CHO Brett Sutton announcing that one million Victorians were fully vaccinated against Covid-19 on Sunday.
On other key developments across the country, Queensland has recorded its worst virus day in almost a year, with the 18 new cases reported on Sunday (all linked to the state’s current cluster) being the biggest single-day local transmission since August 2020.