NSW Covid cases continue to climb with 45,098 new infections and nine deaths – as restrictions are rolled back to slow the spread
- NSW reports record 45,098 new Covid-19 cases and nine deaths overnight
- New restrictions reimposed to help contain the spread of the virus outbreak
- Singing and dancing have been banned in pubs and clubs and major events have been cancelled.
The government lifted the restrictions, banning singing or dancing in pubs or clubs until January 27, except at weddings, performers or classes.
Some high-risk major events may also be approached by health officials and forced to implement restrictions deemed COVID-safe.
Organizers of the Tamworth Country Musical Festival announced Friday the event, which, due to start in a week, would be postponed as a result.
The NSW premier has defended the decision to ease restrictions as the state’s Omicron COVID-19 outbreak reinstated many of them within a month.
Some high-risk major incidents may also be approached by health officials and forced to implement restrictions deemed COVID-safe
The government announced Friday that non-urgent elective surgeries would be suspended until mid-February, releasing new modeling predicting the impact of the Omicron variant on the health system.
Under the ‘most realistic’ scenario, the state would require 4700 hospital beds at the peak of the outbreak, of which 273 are in ICUs.
By comparison, at the peak of Delta’s outbreak in September, there were 1266 people with the infection in hospital and 244 in intensive care.
Asked several times whether easing restrictions in December, reinstating many of them within just a month, was the right call, Mr Perrott said the Omicron version required a different response.
“It’s much, much less serious, and the approach we’ve taken is the right approach,” he said.
‘Obviously in the middle of a pandemic, when cases come to the fore, this will reduce confidence but ultimately, the alternative is to lock down.’
When asked whether he would give his government a ‘gold star’ for decision making, he doubled down.
‘Every step this government has taken over the past two years has ensured that we have one of the lowest mortality rates in the world, and at the same time one of the strongest economies in the world.’
The number of cases reached 38,625 on Friday with 11 deaths, while the number of people in hospital is just 1,738, of which 134 are in intensive care units.
But state opposition leader Chris Mins has criticized his comments.
“If that’s his idea of success, I wouldn’t love to hear what his idea of failure is,” he told reporters on Friday.
‘At the end of the day, the premier told people in NSW who had raised concerns about hospital overcrowding and rising number of cases whether they were sounding the alarm or they were wetting the bed.
Mr Perrot also announced on Friday that NSW would join Western Australia to join teachers, health workers and frontline disability roles to receive a booster shot considered ‘fully immunized’ against COVID-19.
more to come