Covid update: Case numbers climb and police powers increased

NEW South Wales Covid-19 case numbers continue to climb, with 239 new local cases recorded up to 8pm last night.

At least 88 people were infectious in the community and 126 cases remain under investigation.

One-hundred and eighty-two people are in hospital, 54 are in the Intensive Care Unit and 22 require ventilation.

Sadly, a man aged in his 80s died yesterday afternoon at the Royal North Shore Hospital. He was unvaccinated.

Dr Kerry Chant stressed that Covid-19 is not an old person’s disease, with many young cases currently in hospital.

“We’ve two in their teens, eight are in their 20s, four are in their 30s and three are in their 40s,” Dr Chant said.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said things are likely to get worse before they get better.

“We cannot continue to see the transmission increase in these settings. Therefore The New South Wales Government advice from the police, has taken extra measures in relation to compliance,” the Premier said.

“Making sure that everybody across the state, but particularly people in those Local Government Areas of concern, are doing the right things,” she said.

Police have launched a new high-visibility operation and have been given new powers that allow them to shut down businesses, construction sites and public premises causing a public health risks.

NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller APM, said police will significantly ramp up compliance activities with officers performing an extra 1000 shifts throughout the next week.

“These officers will be out in force across the Greater Sydney footprint conducting high-visibility proactive patrols and compliance checks, and responding to all Crime Stoppers reports,” Commissioner Fuller said.

“The stronger powers and police presence are about getting us out of lockdown sooner,” he said.

Dr Kerry Chant urged residents to get vaccinated, particular elderly people.

“Disturbingly, we’re still seeing these case numbers rise and we’re still seeing too many people infectious in the community,” Dr Chant said.

“At this level of cases, we are going continue to see future deaths and sadly, too many elderly people in our community are not protected,” she said.

“Sadly, 25 percent of people over 70 are still yet to receive their first dose,” she said.

“The vaccine does not work immediately in providing protection, but even one vaccine can reduce your risk of hospitalisation and death and it can also prevent onward transmission. It is critical that elderly people get vaccinated,” said Dr Chant.

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