Dec, 22nd 2020 – Sydney has recorded its fewest number of new coronavirus cases in several days, raising hopes the Australian city may contain a recent outbreak. The city has seen 90 infections since the outbreak was detected in its Northern Beaches region last week.
On Tuesday, authorities praised a record 44,000 people for turning out to get tested in the previous day.
The nation is currently seeing almost no new cases outside Sydney. That has prompted every state government outside New South Wales (NSW) to enact entry bans on travelers from the state’s capital.
Speaking to reporters, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, “The trend is going where we want it to go, where we need to it to go. We’re confident that the strategy we’ve put in place is having the desired effect.”
The state government locked down the northern beaches for five days from Saturday, prompting other states to close their borders and throwing Christmas plans for thousands of families into chaos.
On Wednesday, the restrictions are set to be reviewed and according to Berejiklian the decision whether to remove curbs and allow families to gather for Christmas was still too close to call.
State officials say that they have identified more than 100 spots across the city where people had travelled whilw infectious but so far, there is only one example of community transmission outside of the Northern Beaches.
In a tweet, Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said, “Stay on target Sydney, brilliant result for state health authorities”.
Berejiklian worryingly said that the low numbers could rise but also added, “I would much rather be hovering where we are now than where we were two or three days ago.”
She praised the state’s contact tracing team describing it as the `best in the world. She said, “I think to date the policy settings we’ve had in place coupled with the community’s response has demonstrated our strategies are working.”
She however indicated that there could be further changes to restriction in time for Christmas.