Wednesday, July 6, 2022

No Covid health advice of previous govt ignored, says Dominic Perrottet; new delta remains mystery

State Premier Dominic Perrottet insisted he has not ignored health advice in the government’s reopening plans.
The new premier earlier this week tweaked the planned easing of restrictions drawn up by his predecessor Gladys Berejiklian.
“There’s always different advice given and different opinions … This is a balance and that’s the approach the New South Wales Government has taken successfully over the course of the last 18 months,” he said.
Mr Perrottet added the state will open “in a safe way” on Monday, amid concerns the state is easing restrictions to fast.
He added “vaccination is key to our freedom”.
“We know that as we open up, case numbers will increase,” he said

“But what has been key to keeping people safe is our high vaccination rate.

“We have the highest vaccination rate in the country and importantly we’re coming close on that first-dose mark to 90 per cent.”
Mr Perrottet said NSW residents “we will learn to live alongside the virus”.
“Our road map is more conservative than the federal road map set out by the Australian Government,” he said.

“We believe that our conservative approach here ensures that we keep people safe but, importantly, get people back into work as quickly as possible. This crisis has many facets, from the health side of things to the economy, to mental health.

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New delta strain remains a mystery

New South Wales has recorded 580 new cases of coronavirus, two days before the state will ease lockdown restrictions for fully vaccinated residents.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said NSW Health is continuing to investigate a new Delta strain linked to a new case.
“We’ve detected a genome of the Delta strain which is different from that that was previously transmitting in our community,” Dr Chant said.
“We’ve linked that back to a person who returned from overseas but the exact mechanism of how that strain emerged and got into the community in western Sydney is still under investigation.”
Dr Chant stressed that early research shows the new Delta strain does not show increased risk of transmission.
“I want to reassure you that there’s nothing about this Delta strain from looking at the genomics that suggested it’s any more transmissible .. going to cause illness or any other issues, additional to the current Delta strain.”
Dr Chant said the returned traveller linked with the new Delta strain came back to Australia last month.
But she repeated assurances that it is not any more concerning than the current one.
“This dates back to September when this returned traveller came in. What we’re investigating is something was there, someone else on the plane that was positive? How could it have got out? What was the mechanism of that? And we haven’t sequenced every one of our isolates from all our people and so really we’re still finding out how much transmission is being generated in the community from these cases. That will evolve over time,” Dr Chant said.
“The main thing for the community so understand is that there’s nothing different about this.
“It’s a different Delta strain but it’s still a Delta strain so we know its characteristics are the same, it’s likely to be more transmissible than previous strains, it’s associated with more hospitalisations for older age groups, but it’s not got anything that makes us more concerned about this strain versus the others.”
Dr Chant said there are currently 163 people in intensive care and 812 admitted to hospital.

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