New South Wales has recorded 136 cases of locally aqcuired COVID-19, 53 of which were infectious in the community.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the situation had now escalated to the point it was regarded as a “national emergency”.
“There is no doubt that the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage,” she said.
Further restrictions will be imposed in the Cumberland and Blacktown local government areas in order to stop the spread of the virus.
Earlier this morning, infectious disease expert, Professor Robert Booy, said the state “is on the precipice” of losing control of the current outbreak if local infections keep growing.
“It’s so close. It is still possible to get control over the next week or so,” Professor Booy told Today.
“With so many in the community infectious, different chains of transmission, unrecognised chains of transmission, it’s a real challenge.”
Professor Booy said while numbers this week have grown, the coming days would indicate if the harder lockdown has had any real effect.
“If there really is an improvement over the weekend, that’s great. If not, there will be harder lockdowns, more shops that won’t be able to open, more travel that won’t be allowed. We will have an even stronger lockdown than we currently have,” he said.
Professor Booy said there was data suggesting the Delta variant could have gotten out of control prior to the current NSW outbreak and an earlier lockdown could have made a difference.
“(If we) possibly started three to four days earlier in NSW. I myself didn’t recommend it, so they’re at fault, I’m at fault, many others are at fault. We could have done better,” he said.