NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard says he is furious that a northern NSW father has been told to pay for his hotel quarantine to visit his sick daughter in Queensland.
Mr Hazzard hit out at Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk after Brad Jones was told to pay for his quarantine while visiting his daughter Charlotte, who has leukaemia, in Brisbane.
“I can only express my anger, my supreme anger, at the Queensland’s Premier’s decision which is in my view … is nothing more than base, loopy politics,” Mr Hazzard said.
“I’m appalled by what’s going on up there.”
Mr Hazzard’s attack came as NSW health authorities confirmed nine new coronavirus infections in the state.
The state’s chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said all positive COVID-19 infections detected on Tuesday were linked to known cases or was a returned traveller in hotel quarantine.
One of the new infections is linked to a case in south-east Sydney, which still had no known source of infection.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian also doubled down on her criticism of other states and territories, apart from Victoria, for not opening their borders.
Ms Berejiklian said the Northern Territory and South Australia have considered reopening their borders to NSW, but she was mystified why other leaders, particularly Ms Palaszczuk, wouldn’t budge.
She warned her state counterparts to consider the economic impact of keeping their borders shut.
“I’ve been extremely critical to the other Premiers and I’ll continue to be because I don’t understand why they’ve got their borders up against NSW,” she said.
“The rates of community transmission – touch wood – in NSW is very, very low, especially compared to world standards.
“If we’re going to live with this indefinitely or until there’s a vaccine, we need to be a bit more compassionate and a bit more sensible about what this is doing on a human level but also what it’s doing to our nation.”
More infected healthcare workers at Sydney hospital
Of Wednesday’s cases, one attended Tattersalls City Gym and one is a household contact of a previously reported case linked to the CBD cluster, which stands at 68.
Five of the new cases are linked to Concord Hospital, in Sydney’s inner west and were another two healthcare workers, one patient and two household contacts of a patient.
Dr Chant said non-urgent surgeries and visitor limitations had been introduced at Concord Hospital because of the rising number of infections.
She said there were 12 people who had tested positive to COVID-19 at Concord and Liverpool hospitals, including eight healthcare workers.
“Investigations into the source of these infections is ongoing,” Dr Chant said.
“Non-urgent surgery at Concord has been cancelled until Friday and the hospital will be closed to all visitors … to enable deep cleaning of all wards.”
Dr Chant said visitors could be granted exceptions in extraneous circumstances if they raised it with hospital management.
The latest figures come as Ms Berejiklian defended claims that her state was just “lucky” to avoid a second wave, after the Prime Minister hailed NSW as a “gold standard” in COVID-19 management.
“I don’t believe in luck,” she told ABC News Breakfast this morning.
“Our system is well suited to dealing with a very contagious, unrelenting disease. Contact tracing is just one part of the story.”
The Premier said a “decentralised public health system” in NSW allowed for more granular information which allowed for more efficient management.
“If there are cultural differences or other sensitivities we need to be aware of, that local area health service or district is able to provide that intelligence, but also get on top of cases.”
New health alerts were also issued for a number of venues with visitors during the stated times considered a close contact, who should immediately get tested and self-isolate.
- Albion Hotel, Parramatta Beer Garden and Pavilion, September 5, between 8.15-11.15pm for at least an hour.
- The Crocodile Farm Hotel, Ashfield, September 4, between 5.30-6.30pm for at least an hour.
- The New Shanghai Night restaurant, Ashfield on September 4, between 6.30-8pm for at least an hour.
There were 20,852 tests reported in the 24-hour reporting period, compared with 12,494 the day before.