Military checkpoints could be set up around Sydney’s Covid ‘red zones’

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Sydney recorded 163 new coronavirus cases on Saturday with 45 infectious in the community as Sydney struggles to come to grips with its latest outbreak. 


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New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed the numbers in his morning press conference from a record 93,900 tests.

The latest cluster, which began in Bondi after an air crew driver tested positive on June 16, skyrockets to 1,951 with Saturday’s announcement. 

‘Very worryingly – very worryingly – 45 were infectious out in the community,’ Mr Hazzard said.

‘In other words, 45 people were out walking around and potentially spreading the virus which certainly explains why our numbers are going up.’ 

Military checkpoints could be brought in around Sydney’s Covid ‘red zones’ in an attempt from the government to stop the outbreak.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian was offered military assistance by Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier this month, which was initially rejected by the New South Wales Premier.

However, a senior minister told the Telegraph that the state should look to the use of the army as a more effective measure of controlling the spread of the highly-infectious Delta strain.   

‘The government might have to get tougher on a more micro-level. This could mean hardening the lockdown like putting up physical barriers,’ the anonymous minister told the publication.

‘We’ve been offered troops, let’s use them.’ 

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NSW will beef up its vaccine strategy in the hope that more jabs can help quash Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak.

Video: NSW Premier suggests Delta outbreak a national emergency as Sydney records 136 cases (

NSW Premier suggests Delta outbreak a national emergency as Sydney records 136 cases

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The state reported 136 new local cases on Friday, a new daily high for the current outbreak which started in mid-June.

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant advised for the first time on Friday that the outbreak was a ‘national emergency’.

The PM offered Australian Defence Force assistance as recently as July 7, but that was rejected by the NSW Premier.

Morrison offered the ADF again the next day, which Berejiklian again rejected.

The state’s police commissioner Mick Fuller confirmed the military support had been offered, saying their help was unneeded in controlling Sydney’s latest outbreak. 

‘I reiterate my support for the close relationship NSW Police has with the ADF, particularly working through the bushfires,’ he said.

‘That has continued throughout the Covid pandemic, including the close co-operation in the hotel quarantine operation and logistics support in the Police Operations Centre where ADF personnel continue to be essential in terms of the NSW Police operation.

‘However, it was determined the police operational response didn’t require external assistance in the south western Sydney operation given the transmission of the virus was between household contacts, not primarily occurring on the streets.’    

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The virus is spreading particularly quickly among young workers in critical industries who live in Sydney’s west and southwest, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, and more first vaccine doses in those hot spots could slow the transmission.

‘We need to get at least the first jab for as many people as we can in those affected communities as possible,’ she said.

A plan to roll out more Pfizer vaccines to those critical workers, by extending the interval between Pfizer doses from three to six weeks, was discussed at a meeting of national cabinet on Friday.

An announcement on the strategy is expected today.  

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