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NSW warned about ‘silent source’ of coronavirus

Gladys Berejiklian said while cases across the state have “stabilised”, there are still serious concerns about community transmission of coronavirus.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has warned social-distancing measures could be in place for six months. (9News)

“What concerns us greatly is the number of cases being acquired without us knowing the source,” Ms Berejiklian said at her daily press conference this morning.

“What we call the community-to-community transmission. That is something we have to keep mindful of and something that our health experts are most worried about here in NSW, the number of cases acquired when you don’t know the source of that case.”

Overnight, there were 91 new cases of COVID-19 across NSW, bringing the state’s total to 2389.

New cases of coronavirus in NSW as of April 3, 2020. (Graphic: Tara Blancato)

Ten people have died, and 42 people are currently being treated in intensive care units, with 22 on ventilators.

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“We know that until we increase the capacity in our hospitals, until we get more intensive care beds, we won’t be able to deal with the massive influx of patients,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“We want to make sure that when every patient needs a ventilator or bed that’s available. We’re not sure of that yet.

“That’s why we are using this time to make sure we double, triple, quadruple our capacity in our health system because no health system anywhere in the world has been built for a pandemic.

“That’s what we’re dealing with.”

The premier stressed that it’s not her intention to impose further restrictions on the community, and reiterated the need for to stay at home unless they absolutely need to leave.

Riot police patrolling Coogee Beach today.
Riot police patrolling Coogee Beach to enforce social distancing measures. (9News)

“If we can’t identify the source it mean west can’t deal with the spread. That is something we’re worried about,” she said.

The premier announced the state’s police commissioner will be brought in to investigate the Ruby Princess cruise ship debacle, where seven people have died and 600 cases in Australia have been linked to the ship. Passengers on board the ship were allowed to disembark despite a number of people falling ill and being tested for the virus.

They then travelled home across Australia. Commissioner Mick Fuller will work to investigate what went wrong.

The Ruby Princess cruise ship is seen from Kurnell National Park in Sydney. (AAP Image/Craig Golding)

Comm. Fuller confirmed two of eight cruise ships stranded off the NSW coast have left Australian waters to return to their ports of origin.

Yesterday a 55-year-old crew member was taken off the ship because he needed “intense medical assistance”. There are currently five ships with crew on board, not passengers, in NSW waters.

New cases of coronavirus across Australia as of April 3, 2020. (Graphic: Tara Blancato)

Also announced this morning were $10,000 grants for small businesses across the state to help those that have been severely affected by the coronavirus to assist with fixed costs, utilities and rent.

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Source: 9News

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