A woman in her 30s with no pre-existing health conditions has died of Covid-19, as New South Wales announced 141 cases on Sunday and the state premier told anti lockdown protesters they should “should be ashamed” of themselves.
Gladys Berejiklian confirmed on Sunday that two people had died from Covid-19 in the state in the past 24 hours, a woman in her 70s, and woman in her 30s. The premier noted the younger woman, who was a patient at the Royal Prince Alfred hospital, had no pre-existing health conditions that contributed to her vulnerability to the virus.
A woman in her late 30s from Sydney CBD died at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. A woman in her 70s from south west Sydney died at Campbelltown Hospital. NSW Health expresses its deepest condolences to the loved ones of both women.
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) July 25, 2021
“If anybody thinks this is a disease just affecting older people, please think again. Again, I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to those families, their loved ones who are grieving today, but please note that younger people without pre-existing conditions can also fall victim to this cruel disease,” she said.
NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty highlighted one unauthorised family gathering in Sydney as the virus continued to spread. He said a group of 50 grieving people gathered, inadvertently spreading Delta across a number of households.
“We know that at least 50 people were at that gathering, and we’ve now got 28 cases associated with that gathering, so we have been working with community leaders in that area to make sure that people in that gathering are isolated and getting tested,” he said.
“This is a grieving family who came together to support each other … it is a sign of just how dangerous it is to come together from different families.”
The total of 141 new local cases overnight in NSW is a slight drop compared to Saturday’s 163 new infections, but at least 62 of Sunday’s newly diagnosed people were circulating in the community for all or part of their infectious period, Berejiklian said.
Forty-three people are now in intensive care in NSW, 18 of whom require ventilation. This includes one teenager, seven people in their 20s and three in their 30s.
Victoria has recorded 11 new locally acquired Covid-19 cases. However, all were in quarantine throughout their period of infection. Health officials say the new cases are also all linked to current outbreaks.
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Premier Daniel Andrews said it’s still too early to announce if the state’s lockdown will lift on Tuesday.
“There is still a couple of days to go … at this stage, things are going well,” he said.
“I think we are going to be in a position to receive very detailed public health advice on what we can do on Tuesday, before that. It is my hope that we are able to ease some of the restrictions that we are living under.”
South Australia meanwhile has recorded three new cases of Covid-19, all of whom were in strict home quarantine. Premier Steven Marshall said the state is on track to lift the lockdown as planned on Tuesday night.
In the first press conference since thousands of anti-lockdown protests flouted lockdown laws to march through the street of Sydney, the NSW premier took the chance to flatly condemn their actions, saying she was “absolutely disgusted”.
“It broke my heart. Millions and millions of people across our state are doing the right thing, and it just broke my heart that people had such a disregard for their fellow citizens,” she said.
“Each of those people who protested illegally, I’m sure have loved ones. They are going to go home and risk passing that virus on to the closest people to them.”
“Thank you to all of us doing the right thing and to those of you who aren’t, you should be ashamed of yourselves.”
NSW police issued 510 penalty infringement notices in the past 24 hours, with the “vast majority” coming from Saturday’s protest.
“[They were issued to] people whose behaviour yesterday in and around Sydney could only be described as violent, filthy behaviour, risky behaviour, that police will continue to investigate,” said deputy police commissioner Gary Worboys.
“A strike force is set up right at this moment that continues to ask for people to bring forward any video files or telephone footage that they have of that sort of behaviour.”
Victorian officials were scathing of similar protests in the state capital, Melbourne. The state’s Covid-19 commander Jeroen Weimar described those who took to the streets as a “small minority having a self-indulgent tantrum”, with the premier warning that you “cannot vaccinate against selfishness”.
Two men will also face court in the wake of an anti-lockdown protest in central Sydney, accused among other offences of striking a police horse, and 90 infringement notices issued.
While Queensland recorded no local Covid-19 cases on Sunday the state is on high alert after an infected man travelled across the NSW border despite allegedly being aware he was a close contact and required to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of the result.
He received a negative test result in Sydney but allegedly failed to adhere to the health orders and left self-isolation, catching the VA1139 Virgin flight from Sydney to northern NSW’s Ballina on 14 July.
It was later confirmed he was in fact Covid-positive and had received a false-negative test result. The matter has been referred to NSW police.