NSW Healths Dr. Jeremy McAnulty said health authorities continue to monitor the city of Sydney amid a rise in COVID-19 infections after being asked why it has not yet been declared high-risk.
NSW Health says it is reviewing daily the number of COVID-19 cases identified in Greater Sydney’s local government areas as unrest among Western and Southwestern communities increases, subject to stricter restrictions.
The state saw a further drop in daily figures on Tuesday, with 1,127 local COVID-19 cases and two deaths recorded.
NSW Healths Dr. Jeremy McAnulty announced the infections at the state’s revised daily coronavirus update, warning that it is still “too early to know if we are flattening the curve”.
He said the vast majority of new cases remain registered in south-western and western Sydney, but noted that the virus has continued to spread to other parts of Greater Sydney, including the City of Sydney’s local government area.
Until By 8pm on Monday, 148 of the new infections were from Sydney LHD, prompting questions from journalists as to why the area has not been classified as an LGA of concern.
They also referred to the increase in infections in Redfern and Waterloo.
“We look at this on a daily basis and the team that looks at the number of cases and other factors such as immunization, movements in the communities and so on,” said Dr. McAnulty.
“It’s on a daily review and it can change at any time, so I leave it to the team that does it to make those assessments, but it’s certainly very much based on the health need to declare a place.”
Under current public health ordinances, 12 LGAs have been declared high-risk and are subject to stricter restrictions, including a curfew between 1 p.m. 21.00 and 05.00.
The LGAs of concern are Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta and Strathfield.
Certain suburbs of Penrith have also been marked, including Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kemps Creek, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys.
Dr. McAnulty was further asked what “triggers” would cause the health authorities to open the 12 LGAs.
“So there are a number of factors and I can not tell you all of them because I do not agree that our particular team is looking at it … but it’s basically the number of cases, the courses, immunization rates, movement levels within these LGAs based on transportation and other data there [is],” he said.
“So there’s a whole lot of stuff going in there to get a feel for whether there’s a track on the way up or not, and about further action [are needed]. “
Dr. McAnulty reiterated that these factors were reviewed by health authorities on a daily basis.
It comes amid a setback from a local mayor asking Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian to end the curfew and ease restrictions in line with the rest of Greater Sydney when the vaccine thresholds are reached next month.
Canterbury-Bankstown Mayor Khal Asfour confirmed that the Prime Minister had agreed to meet with him and other leaders of the LGAs on Tuesday after “weeks” of trying to arrange a meeting.
“We want to see an end to this curfew, it’s one of the most important things I want to discuss, along with ensuring that when we get out of the lockdown, we are treated in the same way as everyone else that we get the same freedoms at the same time, he told Sky News Australia ahead of the meeting.
In an update to Facebook on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Asfour said the meeting was “an open and honest conversation about the issues affecting hotspot LGAs”.
“I raised a number of issues on behalf of my community from pool closures to business anger over check-ins and curfews,” he said.
“The meeting got pretty heated when the issue of people being discriminated against because of the area they live in was raised.”