THERE have been an additional 163 cases ofcovid-19 identified in the past 24 hours, which Minister Brad Hazzard described as a “continuing and growing problem” and drew aim at other states and the Prime Minister to release doses of Pfizer to assist.
Of the 163 new cases, 66 were household contacts, 25 were close contacts and 71 were out in the community while infectious.
Mr Hazzard said the 45 who were in the community “explain why our numbers are going up.”
The Minister also sent a clear message to the other states that if the virus is to be contained across the nation, more Pfizer vaccines are needed in New South Wales and expressed his frustration with Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s stockpiling of vaccines.
Mr Hazzard drew parallels how states help each other during times of fire and floods and the virus was no different.
There are unconfirmed reports the Prime Minister is considering giving more Pfizer vaccines to New South Wales, however Minister Hazzard said he had not been given that advice and said he would like to know how many vaccines are being held in the national stockpile.
“Last year I was frustrated because we never got to find out what was in the national stock pile of PPE (personal protective equipment)…if we could do the same and get vaccines from some other source we would…I simply don’t know how much is in our national stock pile…and I’d like to know,” Brad Hazzard said.
“Limiting people’s capacity to work is horrific for a government…if we can get the Pfizer, we need to get it out…but we just need to get it,” he said.
“It’s like fighting a war with both arms behind your back,” said Minister Hazzard.
There are currently 139 people hospitalised with the virus. There are 37 people in intensive care, 36 who were unvaccinated and one who had only had their first dose of AstraZeneca and concerningly 17 people are currently being ventilated. Of the people hospitalised 55 are under the age of 55 and 28 are under the age of 35.
The police have confirmed they continue to have people breach public health orders, including a gathering in Belmont, where there were 10 people in the household, instead of five. Police confirmed they were aware of the public health orders.
Police said there are many good examples across New South Wales who are abiding from the public health orders and they want to reach out to those people who continue to do the right thing and make their job so much easier, but they will continue to respond to CrimeStoppers reports strongly and quickly.