A new strain of Delta has been detected in New South Wales – but at this stage there is no indication it is any more transmissible or severe than existing strains.
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant announced today that eight people had a COVID-19 strain that does not match the current variant currently circulating in Sydney.
Seven of those cases are within the same household.
“There’s no indication that this new strain presents any differences regarding transmission or vaccine effectiveness or severity,” Dr Chant said.
“We’re undertaking some investigations into the source and how the transmission occurred.
“We’ll update you again when the information is available.”
The state has recorded 646 new local cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.
Eleven people – two women and nine men, have died after contracting the virus.
Two were in their 50s, one in their 60s, four in their 70s, and four in their 80s. Only one was fully vaccinated.
Across the state, 89.4 percent of the population over 16 have had one dose of the vaccine.
Seventy per cent have had one dose of the vaccine.
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said while there had been a decline of cases in western and southwestern Sydney, there were still suburbs of concern.
They include Greenacre, Yagoona, Panania, Lakemba, Blacktown, Liverpool and Merrylands.
“We are seeing increasing cases in the Hunter area.
“We’ve seen 97 cases reported across New England, and it’s scattered across many areas,” Dr Chant said.
The case numbers were announced in a Facebook livestream.
Coronavirus traces have been detected in Wee Waa, Quirindi and Brewarrina in regional NSW.
The state is preparing to exit the strictest level of lockdown on Monday, with new freedoms announced for those who have been double-vaccinated.
Meanwhile, doctor’s body the Australian Medical Association said it fears reopening is being done too fast.
The NSW Chairman, Dr Michael Bonning, said even the 80 per cent vaccinated rate, still a few weeks away, won’t be the end of COVID-19
“Just because we’ve got a new premier in the driver’s seat, that’s not a good enough reason to deviate from the court that was set out,” Dr Bonning said.
He said the health professionals also need to be supported when it comes to the plan, which needs to “look after the health of everyone”.