Victoria COVID-19 hotel quarantine inquiry continues, Qantas posts $1.9b loss, South Australia border closes to Victoria, Australia death toll at 463

“But it is important that we don’t withdraw those measures or become complacent before we have completely stomped out the virus transmission in western and south-western Sydney in particular.”

NSW yesterday recorded five new cases – two were returned travellers in hotel quarantine, and three were locally-acquired cases in south-west Sydney.

“The numbers of cases have been remaining quite low for this week and that’s reassuring but what we are seeing is persistence of occasional cases every day, one or two, that are not linked. And that means that there are low levels of transmission occurring in south-western Sydney and Western Sydney. And the objective is to find those chains of transmission and stop them.

“It’s a bit like the analogy with a fire – we’ve got a few embers that are still smouldering and we want to find those embers and put them out totally so we do not have any community transmission.

“The threat of COVID will always be with us until we have an effective treatment or an effective vaccine. And so, because this virus can spread so stealthily in the community, I think the objective of no community transmission is a wise one but it means that we have to be vigilant for its reintroduction. And we therefore can’t go back to how we were before. We need to continue to adopt COVID- safe practice we need to continue to get tested and recognise the threat is with us.”

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