NSW To Increase Testing As 'Symptomless Carriers' Become Major Concern
The NSW government is urging clinics to ramp up testing due to concerns people could be transmitting coronavirus without showing symptoms or knowing they have it, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Tuesday.
"What is concern to all of us is that unknown level of community transmission... That's the real threat - people walking around without symptoms while they have this disease," Berejiklian said.
"That's why it is important [for people] to assume they have it, and to act like they have it. But I'm also very confident we will get through this."
It comes as NSW announced 114 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, a slight decline from Monday's figures -- though testing numbers have also declined.
"We have seen a decline in testing numbers and... I'm really urging that we increase the testing particularly in areas where there's community transmission or around clusters," State Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.
Chant said a pop-up testing clinic will be introduced in Bondi after Sydney's Eastern Suburbs became a hotspot for COVID-19 cases.
A number of coronavirus cases have been linked to a party in Bondi three weeks ago that was attended by both Australians and backpackers before the ban on mass gatherings of more 500 people was enforced.
"We know there has been an outbreak of backpackers in Bondi and I'd like to thank all the agencies that have really come together to support us in containing that outbreak in the backpacker community," she said.
"Out of an abundance of caution, we want to increase testing rates and introduce some pop-ups to increase our testing. That will assure ourselves of the extent of community transmission."
As part of the state's ramping up of coronavirus measures, cruise ships that don't have ports in Australia will not be allowed to dock in the state.
"The reality is that there are thousands of people, potentially, in cruise ships off our coasts that aren't members of our state and if we take them in, then that could well flood our system unnecessarily," Police Commissioner Mike Fuller said on Monday.
All the hard work we've done could be over.
"The Federal Government has issued warning notices to them to return to their port of origin, and I think they should listen to those warnings," Fuller said.
However, Fuller said the state would "continue to show humanitarian care" and give fuel and food to individuals who need it.
More to come.