NSW records six new locally acquired COVID-19 infections, two mystery cases confirmed


Health authorities in NSW have confirmed six new locally acquired coronavirus infections in the 24 hours to 8:00pm last night.Three of the new locally acquired cases confirmed today are linked to Lakemba GP cluster, which now has 15 cases in total.Two of today’s infections remain under investigation with the source not known.A man aged in his 50s from south-east Sydney was found to have the virus, and chief health officer Kerry Chant said investigations were continuing as to how he was infected.Today’s second mystery case was a man aged in his 70s from Bargo, reported yesterday, which fell outside health authorities’ reporting period and included in today’s official numbers.Also included in today’s figures was a household contact of the case found in Bargo, 100 kilometres south-west of Sydney.There were also five new cases found in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.Health Minister Brad Hazzard said infected people withholding information from public health officials had been an ongoing issue during the pandemic. “One of the ongoing problems that public health has had in NSW and also in Victoria is that people are not necessarily telling us the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” Mr Hazzard said. “Whether it’s deliberate, whether its overlooked, you need to make sure it’s neither of those things.”Public health officials need to be able to track the chains of transmission and that’s impossible if people don’t give us the full picture of where they’ve been.”Dr Chant echoed the minister’s message, highlighting how important it was that health authorities gain the full picture of an infected person’s movements.”Recent events have shown how you can have three or four chains of transmission go unrecognised,” she said”It’s like a root system … and you can imagine after a period of growth you can end up with many cases.”There were 15,802 coronavirus swabs taken in the reporting period yesterday, down slightly from Wednesday’s total of 16,021.Mr Hazzard said the decline in testing numbers today was concerning.He stressed that the NSW Government’s benchmark for testing was 20,000 swabs taken a day.Mr Hazzard flagged that, without a significant increase in daily testing figures, further eased coronavirus restrictions state-wide were unlikely.More to come.

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