Sydney’s lockdown should be HARSHER with the same rules in every suburb because ‘Covid doesn’t respect geography’, top doctor says
- The Australian Medical Association has called for a harsher, citywide lockdown
- Dr Omar Khorshid said clear rules should be applied across Greater Sydney
- He said: ‘Covid-19 does not respect geography or local government boundaries’
- Dr Khorshid also urged those considering attending protests to stay at home
Australia’s most senior doctor has called for a tougher lockdown across all of Greater Sydney.
Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Khorshid said Covid-19 didn’t recognise suburb boundaries and called for more stringent rules across Australia’s biggest city to slow the spread of Covid.
Residents of eight council areas in Sydney’s west and south-west are living under tighter restrictions, with the whole of Greater Sydney under lockdown until at least August 28 as cases numbers of the highly-infectious Delta strain stubbornly remain in triple digits.
They are banned from leaving home for work, unless they are employed in health, aged care or emergency services, must now wear face masks outdoors and have a 5km limit on leaving home – compared with 10km in the rest of Sydney.
Eight council areas have tighter restrictions than the rest of Greater Sydney (pictured is Bondi in the eastern suburbs), as four more weeks of lockdown was announced on July 28 but Dr Khorshid said clearer lockdown rules should be introduced across Greater Sydney
Dr Omar Khorshid (pictured), head of the Australian Medical Association has called for a harsher and clearer lockdown across all of Greater Sydney as he says Covid-19 doesn’t respect geography or local government borders
‘COVID-19 does not respect geography or local government boundaries on a map, and clear and simple rules applied everywhere will make a difference – including mandatory mask wearing indoors and outdoors when outside the home,’ Dr Korshid said.
‘We don’t know if it will be possible to eliminate the Delta strain from Sydney, but the benefits of doing so will be enormous and worth the inconvenience, disruption and real hardship being faced by all of Sydney at the moment’.
While Dr Khorshid urged anyone considering going to any protests to stay home as they are only potentially extending the lockdown they are against.
‘If you want to be part of the solution, go get the vaccine and stay at home,’ he said.
Up to a thousand police officers will be on duty to meet anyone considering attending an anti-lockdown protest in Sydney this weekend, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has warned.
Mr Fuller said police had already detained 60 people from last week’s protests and issued more than 200 infringement notices.
The commissioner said police had to ‘expect there’s going to be a protest’ after monitoring online activity.
At present eight LGAs are under tighter restrictions than the rest of the city, with the whole city under lockdown until the end of August at the earliest
HOW SYDNEY’S TOUGHER LOCKDOWN RULES WILL AFFECT YOU
In the eight hotspot LGAs from 12am on Saturday, July 31 (Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta):
Residents must wear a mask whenever leaving the home, including when they are outdoors.
The travel limit for essential exercise and shopping has been reduced to 5km from 10km.
Those in a ‘singles bubble’ with another person must follow the same travel restriction.
The penalty for breaking mask restrictions will increase from $200 to $500
Police will be given the power to shut down public premises, worksites, and businesses that are caught breaching public health orders.
NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said authorities were still investigating whether a COVID-positive person had attended last Saturday’s protest, which saw thousands march through Sydney’s CBD demonstrating against the state’s lockdown laws.
NSW Police have confirmed a 35-year-old man from Granville, in Sydney’s west, was caught more than 20km away at the city’s central station by police targeting protesters, despite being subject to stay-at-home orders.
The man, who was fined $1,000 dollars, was directed home and tested positive to COVID the next day.
A NSW Police strike force was set up following last week’s protests with up to 20,000 tip-offs to Crime Stoppers about attendees, with photos and names sent to police.
On Friday Mr Fuller said police will be waiting for anyone planning to protest this weekend, and they had been given plenty of warnings.
SYDNEY’S COVID-19 OUTBREAK
* New locally acquired cases: 170 (down 69 on prior 24-hour period)
* Infectious while in the community (partly or fully): At least 52 (-36, although 53 cases still under investigation)
* In hotel quarantine: Two (+1)
* Total for outbreak (since June 16): 2980
* Total in NSW for entire COVID-19 pandemic: 8514
* In hospital: 187 (+5)
* In intensive care: 58 (+4)
* Ventilated: 24 (+2)
* Deaths in current outbreak: 13 (+0)
* Deaths in NSW for entire pandemic: 69
* Tests conducted (over 24-hour reporting period): 95,446
* Vaccinations (in NSW on Thursday): 83,637
* NSW’s vaccination status (all ages): 32.3 per cent have had one dose, 14.6 per cent are fully vaccinated
* Borders: Greater Sydney residents are not permitted to visit regional NSW unless for essential activity, and cannot freely enter any other Australian state or territory. Travel restrictions for residents of regional NSW vary depending on state.
* Welfare support: Mutual obligation requirements for people in locked-down areas of NSW will remain suspended until August 31.
Restrictions and hotspots: www.health.nsw.gov.au
Workplace support: https://business.gov.au Financial support: Services Australia and Service NSW
Mental health support: Lifeline 13 11 14, beyondblue 1300 22 4636, Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for people aged 5 to 25)