One in 50 people in England had Covid-19 as of last week. In London, that figure is one in 30.
One. In. Thirty.
That’s absolutely terrifying.
Some 60,916 people tested positive to Covid-19 in the UK yesterday, the highest one-day rise since the pandemic began.
To put that into perspective, there have only been 28,519 cases in Australia since the pandemic began. According to the federal health department, there are 284 active Covid-19 cases in Australia at the moment — including those in hotel quarantine.
More on those figures in England here.
NSW will report ‘one or two’ new cases in Berala cluster today, Barilaro says
NSW will report “one or two” new cases in connection with the Berala cluster today, acting premier John Barilaro has said.
One of those is the 18-year-old who travelled to western NSW, who was mentioned at yesterday’s press conference. Speaking to Channel Nine this morning, Barilaro said:
Overnight I can confirm there are again one or two connected to that particular Berala outbreak but again numbers looking ok, contact tracing in place.
To the NSW-Victorian border closure now. Federal MP Darren Chester, whose electorate of Gippsland borders NSW – and we should recall from the bushfires how much crossover there is in the border from Gippsland to the NSW far south coast – says the border should not have been shut.
He told Radio National:
We can’t keep shutting borders every time there are a few cases in one part of the country, we are one nation.
Chester said the decision on borders is one for state governments, but he believes focusing on hotspots is a better approach than introducing hard borders between states.
I don’t think the border closure was the right decision by any stretch … actually shutting borders all the time in these cases rather than focusing on the hotspot areas I think is the wrong decision …
There are now people stranded through no fault of their own on the wrong side of the border, they have been in most cases in places where there are no Covid cases, they are at no more risk than if they had stayed at home.
He said that people who travelled to regional NSW over the holiday period left home when regional NSW was listed by Victoria as a “green zone”, and adds “people took that to be green means go”. The travel advice and warnings in the days before Christmas was focused on Sydney but Chester says most people who have contacted his office travelled to regional areas a significant distance from Sydney:
Stop telling people that they shouldn’t have travelled … They went on holidays, they caught up with family and friends. NSW is a large state, it’s 800,000 sq km, it’s three times the size of the UK, there’s a lot of people who thought they were doing the right thing and took that opportunity to see family and friends.
Chester said “more compassionate” border rules should be introduced for people who were not in hotspot areas of NSW, which could include asking people to get a Covid-19 test in NSW before they are allowed to travel to Victoria:
Obviously if there are people who have been to areas that are regarded as hot zones or red zones where there is a more serious breakout there should be more serious measures, but if you’ve been camping out the back of NSW with your swag or your tent where there are no cases surely we can get those people back to their own communities.
Long testing lines are expected in regional NSW towns again today, with a cafe in Broken Hill, a cafe in Orange and a camping ground in Nyngan listed as exposure sites yesterday. They were on the itinerary of an 18-year-old man who stopped in to BWS Berala on Christmas Eve and unknowingly picked up the virus before heading out west.
NSW Health added five new exposure sites to its list late last night. They are Merrylands RSL from 4pm to 4.45pm on 28 December; Saravanaa Bhavan Indian restaurant in Parramatta from 10.20am to 10.50am on 28 December; a social cricket match at Ollie Webb Cricket Ground in Parramatta from 7.30am to 11am on 28 December, the Sydney Murugan Temple in Mays Hill from 12.40pm to 1.30pm on 1 January; and the Sydney Marina Dine In & Take Away in Pendle Hill from 12.30pm to 12.50pm on 3 January.
Anyone who attended any of the above venues at the listed times is advised to get tested and self-isolate until provided with further advice by NSW Health.
In Victoria authorities have listed new exposure sites on the Mernda line from Southern Cross to Victoria Park stations, between 2.30pm to 2.45pm on 28 December; and the Tamarind 8 restaurant in Narre Warren from 6.30pm to 7pm on 30 December. Anyone at either location has been told to get tested and self-isolate until they get a negative result.
New exposure sties were also listed at the Nike Company Store in South Melbourne from 12pm to 12.45pm on 30 December. Anyone at the store at that time has been told to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days. Finally, anyone who was at the Culture Kings store in Melbourne from 1pm to 1.30pm on 30 December has been advised to monitor for symptoms.
Let’s crack on. You can reach me on Twitter at @callapilla and at [email protected]