News NSW Premier to raise vaccine delays with Scott Morrison as more exposure sites emerge

NSW Premier to raise vaccine delays with Scott Morrison as more exposure sites emerge

NSW Health alerted the public to 27 new exposure sites amid a push to get more people vaccinated. Photo: Getty
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NSW will aim for 40,000 people a day to get a COVID-19 swab, hoping a testing blitz will help stem the spread of cases in the Bondi cluster.

Another 27 exposure sites had been identified as of Sunday, with the most concern for shoppers who were in a North Face shop in Drummoyne at the same time as an infected person.

There are more casual sites in Drummoyne, along with others at Castle Hill, Merrylands, central Sydney and Hurstville.

Four more Sydney council areas will become “orange zones” from Monday under Victoria’s border permit system, while South Australia has joined Queensland by imposing an immediate ban on travellers from the Waverley Council area.

SA residents or anyone escaping domestic violence can enter, but will need to self-quarantine for a fortnight.

The Western Australian government, meanwhile, has set up COVID-19 testing clinics at Perth Airport’s domestic terminals to enforce new conditions on travellers from NSW.

NSW Premier Gladys Berijiklien said it was a critical time for authorities trying to prevent a “super-spreading” event.

She also expressed frustration at the pace of Australia’s virus vaccine rollout, saying she would raise the issue at Monday’s emergency national cabinet meeting.

“For us, the issue is supply. If you get us the doses, between the GP network and the NSW government, we will get those jabs in arms but the challenge for us is getting supply and getting those vaccines,” Ms Berijiklien said.

“The vaccine is our road to freedom, our road to a COVID-normal life but … we are nowhere near having vaccinated the majority of our population yet. So all of us have to do the right thing in the next few days.”

Shops at Birkenhead Point Brand Outlet have been listed as exposure sites. Photo: Google Maps

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will chair the meeting via video link from The Lodge, where he is in isolation following his European trip last week.

As well as ramping up testing, the NSW government has tightened mask rules so that. From Sunday afternoon, it became mandatory for some Sydneysiders to wear face masks inside.

Anyone shopping, working in hospitality or indoors must wear a mask unless eating or drinking if they live in the local government areas of Randwick, Bayside, Botany Bay, Inner West, City of Sydney, Waverley or Woollahra.

Ms Berejiklian said the government would also extend compulsory mask-wearing on public transport in greater Sydney until Thursday and expand the order to Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas.

The state had three new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

Two of the local cases were reported in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, one of which had been revealed by health authorities the previous day.

The other is a close contact of the previously recorded infection.

Another two additional cases in the southern Sydney shire of Sutherland were reported after the 8pm deadline. They are both close contacts of earlier infections.

It takes Sydney’s eastern suburbs COVID outbreak to nine.

Queensland case not the Delta strain

Meanwhile, a flight attendant who tested positive for coronavirus in Brisbane after undergoing the full 14 days of hotel quarantine doesn’t have the Delta strain.

The woman, aged in her 30s, arrived in Brisbane on June 5 on an Emirates flight that also transported a passenger with the more infectious Delta variant.

Authorities initially thought she had picked up the Delta strain from the passenger but genomic sequencing results confirmed otherwise.

“It’s good news the case isn’t the highly transmissible Delta variant, but we do still need to take every precaution,” chief health officer Jeannette Young said.

She reminded people to isolate if they had visited listed exposure sites including Brisbane’s airport DFO, the Brisbane CBD and a Portuguese family centre.

An outbreak of the Delta strain – the dominant variant in India and Britain – led to the recent lockdown in Victoria.

Victoria had no new local cases on Sunday, with an expert panel ruling two returned travellers who completed hotel quarantine have “historical infections”.

Earlier, the Victorian government announced a locally developed mRNA vaccine would become the first in Australia to move to phase one clinical trials later in 2021.

The Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences-led vaccine candidate has received a $5 million investment to manufacture doses for the trials, with results expected in the first half of 2022.

Earlier in June, Commonwealth officials told Senate estimates it could take up to four years to build a site to start manufacturing mRNA vaccines like the Pfizer and Moderna jabs.

Acting Premier James Merlino said Victoria had taken a “leadership position” on research and development to ensure the nation did not have to rely on overseas supply.

“This virus will be with us for quite some time. We may well need yearly booster vaccines in the years ahead,” he said.

-with AAP