One hasty decision could lead to resurgence in NSW coronavirus cases

May 06, 2020

By SBS Australia

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned "just one hasty decision" to ease coronavirus-prompted social distancing or shutdown measures could undo the state's curve-flattening success.

NSW recorded nine new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, one of which was a Newmarch House aged care facility worker confirmed on Tuesday by operators Anglicare.

The state has to date recorded 3042 cases of coronavirus, with 13 people in intensive care.

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The premier on Wednesday acknowledged that an increase in COVID-19 cases was likely with the easing of restrictions, and urged residents to maintain social distancing and seek testing even with mild respiratory symptoms.

Schools would resume some face-to-face learning in NSW from May 11, while the National Cabinet will on Friday discuss the additional easing of restrictions.

Ms Berejiklian said the health system has been upscaled to cater for additional cases throughout winter.

"It's easy to shut things down - it's much harder to reopen and have normality because we need to make sure everything we do is COVID-safe," Ms Berejiklian told reporters.

"It's really about living with the pandemic, for want of a better term. I just want to make sure all the hard work we've done doesn't evaporate because we took one hasty decision."

Ms Berejiklian said NSW would look to find the sweet spot in what economic activity and social liberties were maximised, while maintaining a manageable number of virus cases.

Reopening schools "has the lowest health risk but the highest economic benefit".

She admitted major adjustments would be required on the public transport network if large numbers of workers return to offices in Sydney's CBD.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet also said federal and state governments in the post-coronavirus environment would need to "reduce the tax burden, reduce red tape (and) cut regulations" to kickstart economic growth.

"It's not just an opportunity for reform, we have an obligation to reform our system to help keep people in work and businesses in business," Mr Perrottet told reporters on Wednesday.

The coronavirus-hit Newmarch House on Tuesday confirmed a 16th resident infected with COVID-19 has died, raising the state's death toll to 46.

Some 37 of the 100-odd residents at the nursing home near Penrith have tested positive to the virus.

NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant on Wednesday rebuffed calls for residents to be forcibly removed from the facility, but said options were available to their families.

"If the family wants to move a resident and the resident has cognition, is capable of making informed decisions, it's the resident's view prevailing," Dr Chant told reporters.

"This is the home of the residents ... many of the residents have underlying health conditions and the residents have the right to choose where care is provided for them."

Meanwhile, the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess is set to continue holding hearings on Wednesday and Friday, with about 10 witnesses expected to give evidence.

The inquiry heard from NSW Health senior epidemiologist Kelly-Anne Ressler on Tuesday, who was reduced to tears when it was suggested there had been a "reprehensible shortcoming" by the department when passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney.

The commission is trying to uncover the missteps of the ill-fated cruise ship linked to more than 20 coronavirus deaths and 600 infections nationwide.

The post about “One hasty decision could lead to resurgence in NSW coronavirus cases" appeared first on the SBS Australia website.

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