News State NSW News No new local cases: NSW Premier ‘pleased’ with COVID-19 situation, but no virus link yet

No new local cases: NSW Premier ‘pleased’ with COVID-19 situation, but no virus link yet

The NSW Premier says she's pleased with how the COVID situation is tracking. Photo: AAP
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NSW has recorded no new community cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night.

There were five new cases detected in hotel quarantine.

The latest figures come as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was “pleased” with the state of a COVID-19 community transmission outbreak in Sydney.

However Ms Berejiklian remains worried the link between an infected man and an ill international traveller may not be uncovered.

NSW Health on Thursday reported a second locally acquired case – the wife of an eastern suburbs man, both aged in their 50s.

His case has been genomically linked to a traveller from the US in hotel quarantine.

The couple was staying at the Park Royal, Sydney’s Darling Harbour quarantine in there, where on day one, they tested positive to the virus and were moved to special health accommodation.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said it’s not known how the virus went there and there may be a missing link in there somewhere.

“We can’t find any direct link between our case, so what we’re concerned about is that there is another person that is as yet unidentified that infected our case,” Dr Chant said.

As a result, Sydneysiders are again wearing masks on public transport, in supermarkets and during ride share trips as health officials try to figure out how a strain of COVID-19 escaped hotel quarantine.

Restrictions for Greater Sydney were reimposed on Wednesday, including mandatory masks in indoor settings, a 20-person cap on indoor gatherings, and a ban on singing.

A health alert was issued on Thursday evening for Haymarket restaurant XOPP. Diners present between 1.30 and 2.30pm last Wednesday must be tested and self-isolate until they’re negative.

A number of places have also been listed as sites where fellow attendees are close contacts who must isolate for 14 days, including the exclusive Royal Sydney Golf Club, a CBD optometrist, and other venues in Paddington, Rushcutters Bay, Moore Park and Collaroy.

Health authorities say they are concerned about the lack of QR check-ins at this time.

NSW Health said check-in compliance was not satisfactory and anyone who was there at this time must get tested immediately and self-isolate until they receive a negative result.

“This highlights the need for everyone in NSW to check in and out of every venue you visit, as this allows NSW Health to complete rapid contact tracing when required,” a spokesperson said.

Other places – including a number of barbecue shops throughout Sydney – are lower-risk, with fellow visitors asked to isolate until they receive a negative result.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday said she was “pleased” with the current state of the outbreak.

But the missing epidemiological link between the infected east Sydney man – who subsequently infected his wife – and a coronavirus-positive traveller in hotel quarantine remains unclear.

The pair are infected with the same COVID-19 strain.

“We may never find that missing link,” Ms Berejiklian told Channel 9’s Today.

“That’s why we ask everybody to get tested. Every time there’s a new case, we can match it to see if it’s part of the same strain.”

“The only concern for us is obviously the fact that at least one person has been in the community going about their business for a few days, having the virus and not knowing they have it … it could be more than one.

“We’re just saying to people: go about your daily business, just be extra safe.”

New Zealand called a time-out on the travel bubble with NSW on Thursday, suspending quarantine-free travel from the state for 48 hours from Friday.

The relative idyll in NSW was broken after the east Sydney man, aged in his 50s, tested positive for the virus on Wednesday.

Ms Berejiklian urged businesses to stay open and Sydneysiders to show up for their Mother’s Day reservations on Sunday.

“Every time we go through this in NSW, we learn from what we experience, learn from what we did well or didn’t do well, then we can apply it into the future,” Ms Berejiklian said.

-with agencies