A distressing new ad designed to scare Sydneysiders into staying home to prevent the spread of Covid-19 shows a young woman fighting for life on a ventilator.
New South Wales has recorded 77 new local Covid-19 cases and one death overnight on Sunday, with a warning that cases of the highly-infectious Delta variant are likely to be above 100 over the coming days.
The severity of the outbreak has prompted the federal government to launch a Covid-19 safety advertisement that will air on Sydney TV screens from Sunday evening.
Chief medical officer Paul Kelly described it as ‘graphic’ and said it would contain three important messages: ‘Stay-at-home, get tested and booked in for a vaccination.’
‘There will be a new advertisement running from the Australian government tonight. It is quite graphic. We are only doing this because of the situation in Sydney and it will be running in Sydney,’ he said.
The 30-second advertisement shows a very sick young woman laying in a hospital bed, wheezing heavily and clawing at a ventilator fastened under her nose because she can’t breath properly.
A message then pops up that says: ‘Covid-19 can affect anyone. Stay-at-home, get tested and booked in for a vaccination.’
Mr Kelly reiterated that the ad is meant to be ‘quite graphic’ to scare people into following government directives to stay home until the outbreak has been contained.
Fifteen people with Covid, including a teenager, are in intensive care in Sydney hospitals.
Pictured: A still from the ad campaign warning Sydneysiders to stay home and get the vaccine
In the ad (pictured), a young woman with Covid-19 can be seen clawing at her ventilator because she can’t breath
A nationwide ad campaign asking Australians to ‘arm themselves’ with the vaccine to protect family and members of the community against the virus – but the message isn’t nearly as sinister.
It features a a range of people of different ages lifting their sleeves to reveal small bandaids to show they’ve had the jab.
On Sunday afternoon, opposition leader Anthony Albanese said the campaign is so cheesy it will be hard for satirists to poke fun at it.
‘It will be very difficult for Shaun Micallef to send this ad up,’ he told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.
‘What we need is taking the expertise Australia has always done so well. We were the best in the world in the campaign against Aids, we’ve done drink-driving very well, but after 18 months if this is the best they can do, they need to go back to the drawing board.’
‘This is a government that has spent [a lot of money] advertising itself, telling Australians how good it is. Maybe they should translate some of that advertising into this.’
Opposition leader Anthony Albanese said the campaign is so cheesy it will be hard for satirists to poke fun at it
Pictured: A still from a nationwide ad campaign encouraging Australians to get vaccinated
The nationwide campaign has been slammed by opposition leader Anthony Albanese
On Sunday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in her daily press conference on Sunday that 33 of the cases were out in the community while infectious.
A 90-year-old unvaccinated woman also died after contracting the virus ‘within the home setting’.
‘I want to extend my deepest condolences to their families and loved ones,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
She is the first person to die in Sydney’s outbreak since it began on June 16 and the 57th casualty in the state over the whole pandemic.
The premier warned the figure was likely to keep rising before it fell down again, with more than 100 cases expected on Monday.
NSW Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the ‘vast majority’ of cases were identified in southwest Sydney – which has recently been targeted by police with extra officers deployed to monitor lockdown compliance.
New South Wales has recorded 77 new local Covid-19 cases and one death as Premier Gladys Berejiklian warns daily cases are likely to rise above 100 over the coming days
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Sunday that 33 of the cases were out in the community while infectious
Ms Berejiklian warned the figure was likely to skyrocket with more than 100 cases expected to be recorded on Monday
‘I need to give frank advice that the case numbers in south-western Sydney are extraordinarily high,’ she said.
‘We know transmission is going through households, from household to household.’
The highly-infectious nature of the Delta variant also prompted the chief health officer to urge residents to get their two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine six weeks apart – instead of waiting the recommended three months.
‘While the interval was three months, at this time because the case numbers are high, we want people to come forward and get vaccinated around that six-week mark,’ she said.
‘We know that for the Delta variant you need the two doses so by calling people to get a second dose, we might sacrifice a bit of long-term protection but we’re making sure you’re protected earlier and at this time, that’s the strategy we’d suggest.’
More than 50 of the 77 new cases were identified as close contacts of Covid-19 positive cases.
‘I’ve spent a lot of my working life in south-western Sydney and I appreciate the strengths of the family. It’s wonderful to see,’ Dr Chant said.
‘But at this time, those close connections between family groups is actually so detrimental to achieving a public health outcome.
‘So what we’re finding is that we’re having to strengthen, you know, strengthen the messaging to get it really clear that… your household is your family group.’
Professor Kelly said the latest figures were a cause of ‘concern’.
‘There are some concerning signs thereabout still a large proportion of those over 70 cases today in New South Wales had been in the community while infectious,’ he said.
‘The pleasing part is that the majority of those 77 cases were close contacts of known cases and the New South Wales authorities are continuing to do an extraordinary job at chasing down those chains of transmission and making sure they get to those quickly, doing rapid testing, getting those results and taking any action that is required.’
There were more than 48,000 Covid-19 tests conducted within the last 24 hours.
Ms Berejiklian reminded Sydneysiders to obey lockdown orders after they were tightened with residents ordered to wear face masks in apartment buildings and everyone outside of Sydney banned from coming in.
‘We can’t stress enough the importance of not only following the rules but also realising the risk that the people who will suffer the most – if you don’t worry about yourself, that’s fine,’ she said.
‘Even though it’s affecting people of all age groups. If you don’t worry about yourself, that’s your decision.
‘But think about your closest family members, your closest people in your life, they’re the people that are most impacted.’
She would not clarify if the lockdown would be extended and would wait to see how the Covid-19 outbreak developed before making any decision.
Home schooling may also be extended beyond next week to avoid ‘hundreds of thousands of people leaving home at the same time’.
Epidemiologist Tony Blakely warned the restrictions are not tough enough and suggested the city should be placed into a much tougher lockdown with soldiers patrolling the streets
Dr Kerry Chant said the majority of cases were identified in south-west Sydney – which has recently been targeted by police with extra officers deployed to the area to monitor lockdown compliance
New face mask rules and travel restrictions have been introduced in Greater Sydney with a draconian-style lockdown and troops on the street possibly on the way, a top epidemiologist has warned
‘The numbers aren’t going in the right direction. That’s pretty obvious to everybody,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘And the number that concerns us the most is the number who’ve been exposed in the community.
‘Unfortunately, I know that for a few days, as soon as we have health advice that gives us information on where the numbers are tracking and what we think the future looks like, we’ll convey that.’
The federal government is holding regular conversations with the state government to discuss ongoing support for businesses if a lockdown is extended.
They are likely to announce further assistance packages and investigate bolstering mental health support services.
Professor Kelly said he was in close contact with Dr Chant and providing continued support.
‘It is very practical support that is happening from the Commonwealth in relation to the situation in Sydney,’ he said.
‘That includes because that is a Commonwealth designated hot spot, there is funding available for aged care, for example, in terms of single site worker payments, there is the disaster, the COVID disaster payment which is also available now for people who are eligible in Sydney.’
Dr Chant warned it would be some time before the lockdown would have its intended impact and reduce case numbers.
‘I think it’s going to be a number of days before we turn around,’ she said.
‘And to some extent, we’re trying… The numbers might actually increase because we’re ramping up testing to get ahead of the transmission curve.’
There are 52 patients being treated in hospital with 15 in intensive care and five on ventilators.
Drivers queue at a Covid-19 testing clinic at Fairfield Showgrounds on Saturday night
Residents will only be able to travel to Greater Sydney to access goods and services that are not available in their area
‘Of the 15 people in ICU, one is in their teens, one is in their 20s, one is in their 30s, one is in their 40s, three are in their 50s, five are in their 60s, two two are in their 70s and one is in their 80s,’ Dr Chant said.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said 106 infringement notices had been issued in just 24 hours.
‘One of those instances was a unit at Marrickville, where police responded to information, they went to that unit and found 15 men in a small unit playing cards,’ he said.
‘These men were in their 50s, through to just short of 90 years of age. No masks, no social distancing, clearly in an environment that was a huge risk to them, their families and their community.’
Police were also called to break up an 18th birthday party in Auburn, in western Sydney, and disband a group of gamers in a separate incident.
‘There were 10 people at this party, clearly organised,’ he said.
‘They turned up, they were aware of the public health orders and police took action in terms of infringement notices to each of those people.’
Ms Berejiklian reminded Sydneysiders to obey lockdown orders after they were tightened with residents ordered to wear face masks in apartment buildings and everyone outside of Sydney banned from coming in
Non-essential businesses were closed, an 8pm curfew enforced and a ring of steel placed around Melbourne with residents only allowed to leave their homes and exercise within a five kilometre radius (pictured, an empty Flinders Street during the draconian lockdown in September)
‘The third incident that I would highlight is one in a garage under a set of units in the Merrylands area. These were young people that were playing PlayStation.’
Under the new restrictions coming into effect this week, residents are only able to travel to Sydney to access goods and services that are not available in their area.
Travelling into the area for exercise or outdoor recreational activities is no longer a valid reason.
They are also only allowed to travel to attend a funeral or memorial service as long as there are no more than 10 mourners.
Sydney residents wanting to leave the area must also carry identification that contains their residential address.
Face masks must also be worn at indoor construction sites at all times.
On Tuesday, the restriction will be extended to all indoor common property areas of residential premises in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
The draconian-style lockdown would be similar to the one introduced in Victoria last year – which lasted 111 days (pictured, a deserted Melbourne laneway during the lockdown in September)
A nurse conducts a Covid-19 swab test on a driver at Fairfield Showgrounds on Saturday night
Residents who live in apartments will be required to wear the extra protection when taking the lift or waiting in the lobby.
Epidemiologist Tony Blakely warned the restrictions are not tough enough and suggested the city should be placed into a much tougher lockdown with soldiers patrolling the streets.
Dr Blakely said the state government had three options: Let the Covid-19 outbreak circulate in the community, continue with a partial lockdown, or deploy troops and police to patrol the streets.
‘The third option is the only one. It’s very hard to say those words: ‘We’re going into a hard lockdown, we’ve called in the military, the police and we are going to police it,’ he told news.com.au.
‘It’s not a pretty look but if you want it to be over and done with as quickly as possible that, most unfortunately, is what needs to happen.’
The draconian lockdown would be similar to the one introduced in Victoria last year – which lasted 111 days.
Dr Blakely warned continuing with a partial lockdown meant Sydney might only begin to reopen in September
Non-essential businesses were closed, an 8pm curfew enforced and a ring of steel placed around Melbourne with residents only allowed to leave their homes and exercise within a 5km radius.
Police patrolled the streets and were assisted by military troops during the tough three months.
Dr Blakely warned continuing with a partial lockdown meant Sydney might only begin to reopen in September.
‘If they keep going the way they are now, without really stepping it up now it could go on for months,’ he said.
The additional face mask and travel restrictions were introduced by NSW Health after it announced it would be tightening lockdown across Sydney from 5pm Friday.
Exercising outdoors has been limited to groups of two from 5pm on Friday under expanded restrictions (pictured: people exercising in Sydney last weekend)
Can you still exercise outdoors?
Yes, but in reduced groups. Locked down residents from Friday evening will only be allowed to exercise outdoors in groups of two – down from the 10 previously allowed.
The only exception to this rule is members of the same household already living together can exercise outdoors together.
How far can you travel to exercise?
Additionally locals can only travel within their own local government area or at most 10km of their homes to exercise.
‘Please do not leave your house. Do not leave your home, unless you absolutely have to,’ Ms Berejiklian pleaded with Sydneysiders.
What about leaving the house for essential items?
Locals should only leave their house for essential supplies and should not browse, the premier said.
Only one member of a household should be traveling to the shops for essential items and this should not be an excuse to socialise.
Can you visit a partner in another household?
This is still allowed under the new restrictions provided you are in a relationship.
Is carpooling allowed?
Carpooling with other households – whether to the shops, to exercise or work – is also not allowed from 5pm on Friday.
Centennial Park in Sydney was packed with crowds last Saturday morning (pictured)
Can you still travel to work?
Ms Berejiklian restated only people who need to travel for essential work should leave their house.
‘Too many people who have continued to go to work, too many people have either misunderstood the rules or not followed them. And that has to stop.’
Is there a curfew?
No. You can leave your house at any hour as long as it is for one of the essential reasons.
What about funerals and weddings?
Health officials have also made the decision to cap funerals at 10 attendees from Sunday.
Weddings were already prevented from going ahead early on in the lockdown.
Exercising is still allowed in groups of two from 5pm Friday in Greater Sydney and surrounds
Only one member of a household is allowed to go to the shops for essential items on each trip
How many people can you have at your house?
Only those providing essential care are allowed to visit another household. This includes caring for elderly family members.
In other cases guests are not allowed to visit other households unless in exceptional circumstances.
‘We are still getting questions through Service NSW about how many people you can have into your home. The answer is zero.’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘I don’t mean these words lightly, or say these words lightly. But we are facing the greatest threat that we have faced in New South Wales and the pandemic started. And it is up to all of us to turn things around’.
Shoppers are pictured in Cabramatta in Sydney’s south-west. Only one member of each household will be allowed to go out to shop for essential items from Friday evening
Ms Berejiklian added with the rate of vaccination hovering around 9 per cent, allowing the virus to spread in the community was not an option.
‘Unless there is a dramatic change, unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the numbers, I can’t see how we would be in a position to ease restrictions by next Friday.’
Of the 44 new local cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday, at least 29 were in the community for part or all of their infectious period.
It is the highest number of NSW daily infections since the pandemic’s first wave in early 2020.
Additional police have been dispatched to some areas from Friday including south-western Sydney (pictured: police at Bondi Beach last weekend)
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NEW RESTRICTIONS:
THE UPDATED RESTRICTIONS IN GREATER SYDNEY, BLUE MOUNTAINS, CENTRAL COAST, WOLLONGONG AND SHELLHARBOUR:
– Outdoor public gatherings limited to two people (excluding members of the same household)
– People must exercise within 10km of their home
– No carpooling with members of other households
– Browsing at shops is prohibited, and only one person per household per day may leave the home for shopping
– Funerals limited to 10 people from July 11.
THE FOUR REASONS TO LEAVE HOME UNDER LOCKDOWN:
– Shopping for food or other essential goods and services (one person per household per day)
– Medical care or compassionate needs (only one visitor can enter another residence in circumstances of compassionate needs)
– Exercise with no more than one other person (unless members of the same household)
– Essential work or education where you cannot work or study from home.
New South Wales health minister Brad Hazzard announced on Saturday a raft of additional restrictions would be immediately introduced.
– Residents are only be able to travel to Greater Sydney to access goods and services that are not available in their area.
– Travelling into the area for exercise or outdoor recreational activities is no longer a valid excuse.
– They are also only be allowed to travel to attend a funeral or memorial service as long as there are no more than 10 mourners.
– Greater Sydney residents wanting to leave the area must also carry identification that contains their residential address.
– Face masks must also be worn at indoor construction sites at all times.
– On Tuesday, the restriction will be extended to all indoor common property areas of residential premises in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
– Residents who live in apartments will be required to wear the extra protection when taking the lift or waiting in the lobby.