“Sydney is on fire with this virus and we need a ring of steel around Sydney.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has called for more to be done after New South Wales Chief health officer Kerry Chant described the situation in NSW as ‘a national emergency’.
New South Wales recorded 136 local COVID-19 cases today, 53 of which were infectious in the community. Mr Andrews said New South Wales seemed to have “crossed a threshold” with a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Trans-Tasman bubble that allows for travel between Australia and New Zealand has been closed “for at least 8 weeks according to RNZ.co.nz
The latest Melbourne outbreak is believed to have begun when a traveller infected with the Kappa variant (B16171) returned to Australia.
“We’ve got to run this thing to ground otherwise people will die,” Victoria’s acting state Premier James Merlino said, adding they were dealing with a virus variant “quicker and more contagious than we have ever seen before”.
Thousands of close contacts have been identified and the list of venues visited by the 60 confirmed cases has grown to about 350.
Australian COVID-19 testing commander Jeroen Weimar said authorities were now concerned about examples of transmission with very little contact between cases. “They’re brushing past each other in a small shop, they’re going around a display home … they’re looking at phones in a Telstra shop,” he said. “They don’t know each other’s names, and that’s very different from where we’ve been before. “We think it’s primarily a feature of the [Delta] variant which is that it is just that much more contagious.”
Victoria, Australia has closed its border to Perth residents after a passenger infected with coronavirus landed at Melbourne Airport. The man caught the virus at a quarantine hotel in Perth after being in China and then flew to Melbourne without knowing he was a carrier.
On Friday night the case plunged Perth into a three-day lockdown after it was revealed the man had moved around the city for four days. The man who arrived is Victoria’s first community case of COVID-19 in eight weeks. All 257 passengers aboard the April 21 flight QF778 have been ordered to get tested and to isolate for 14 days.