Home Health NSW virus outbreak a ‘human tragedy’

NSW virus outbreak a ‘human tragedy’


Many people could be stranded in NSW if they do not return to Western Australia by next week, when the eastern state will be elevated to the new “extreme risk” category. The reclassification will kick in at 12.01 am on Thursday, meaning no travelers from NSW will be permitted to enter WA — even on compassionate grounds. NSW recorded 644 new locally acquired cases in the 24 hours to 8 pm on Thursday.

“The window is closing,” Premier Mark McGowan told reporters on Friday. “West Australians who want to come home need to do so now. “What’s happened in NSW is a human tragedy; it’s a catastrophe.” The extreme risk category kicks in when a jurisdiction averages 500 cases over five to 14 days.

Approved travelers will be limited to Commonwealth and state officials, parliamentarians, diplomats, specialists, or extraordinary circumstances. Those people must undertake hotel quarantine at a state facility for 14 days at their own expense, get tested on days one, five, and 13, return a negative PCR test in the 72 hours before arrival, and show a receipt of at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine if eligible.

Mr. McGowan, who has family in NSW, including his elderly parents, said the growing Delta outbreak was heartbreaking. “As the situation there continues to escalate, we need to do everything we can to handle better the risk to our state following NSW’s growing outbreak,” he said. “This time last week, I announced changes to WA’s controlled border regime to recognize the crisis in NSW better.

“We did not anticipate we would have to use the new extreme risk category for some time. “However, following the latest health advice, we’ve had to make the tough decision to transition NSW to the new extreme risk category under WA’s controlled border arrangements.” Mr. McGowan acknowledged the change would be “disruptive and frustrating” for many people.

“We don’t take this situation lightly. However, my priority is the health of West Australians first and foremost,” he said. The Premier said many people had already heeded his call to return home, including 114 arrivals on Thursday.

A further 345 people were expected to arrive on Friday. Mr. McGowan also swiped at the NSW government, saying they had put “insufficient measures” in place for the past two months. “If they put the right things in place back in June, I suspect they’d be out of it by now,” he said. “They continue to do half measures. I don’t understand it. It’s illogical.

“It’s so frustrating to watch what the NSW government does … they don’t go all the way.” Asked if it was time for the NSW Premier to resign, Mr. McGowan said: “I’m not going to suggest that.” Mr. McGowan said his preference remained for no cases of Covid-19 and said anyone who thought differently had “rocks in their head”.

On Thursday, Mr. McGowan also lashed the NSW government, saying it “did not do what was required back in June” to quash the Delta outbreak. “It did not do what it had to do, and it did not do it for two months,” he said in parliament. “It is frustrating that we are going through this, that those states are going through this, and that New Zealand has to go through it.

“The ACT, which went without a case for over a year, now has to go through it. Melbourne is going through it.” He argued that the entire country was “paying the price” of the NSW government’s inability to act fast. “It is one of the greatest public policy failures I have seen in my lifetime of any government in Australia. It is just appalling,” Mr. McGowan said. WA recorded one new case overnight, a man aged in his 20s in hotel quarantine. It brings the state’s total number of active topics to four, all in hotel quarantine.


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