NSW registers 580 new cases as new Delta strain discovered in Sydney
The prime minister said he expected the number of cases to rise again early next week.
2021-10-09T11: 12: 00 + 11: 00
New South Wales has recorded 580 cases of COVID-19, the lowest daily figure since mid-August.
But in a worrying development, a new Delta strain of the virus has been discovered in western Sydney.
Dr Kerry Chant said Saturday morning that the strain had been identified through genome sequencing.
“As a matter of routine, we are gradually conducting special tests … and we have discovered a genome of the Delta strain that is different from the one that previously transmitted in our community,” she said.
“We have linked it back to a person who returned from abroad, but the exact mechanism by which that tribe originated and entered the community of western Sydney is still under investigation, so we will update you when these investigations continues.
“But I want to assure you that there is nothing about this Delta tribe … that suggested it could be transmitted more, cause illness or other problems beyond the current Delta tribe.
“So, in essence, it’s another Delta tribe circulating in the community.”
More than 79,000 tests were performed during the reporting period, around the clock until 8pm on Friday.
Eleven people died with the virus, and there are 812 people in the hospital, 163 of them in intensive care.
Of the 580 locally acquired cases:
- 130 are from South Western Sydney Local Health District (LHD);
- 98 are from Hunter New England LHD;
- 74 are from Western Sydney LHD;
- 54 are from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD;
- 42 are from Sydney LHD;
- 42 are from South Eastern Sydney LHD;
- 41 are from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD;
- 31 are from Central Coast LHD;
- 20 are from southern NSW LHD;
- 17 are from Western NSW LHD;
- nine are from Northern Sydney LHD;
- seven are from Northern NSW LHD;
- six are from Far West LHD;
- four are in corrective settings and;
- five have yet to be assigned an LHD.
About 90 percent of the state’s population aged 16 and over has received a first vaccine dose.
More than 72 percent are now fully vaccinated.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the number of cases would rise again as restrictions eased from Monday.
He urged people to follow the rules that remain in force.
“We know that when we open up, the number of cases will increase,” he said.
“But what has been key to keeping people safe is our high vaccination rate. We have the highest vaccination rate in the country.
“But I know there’s a sense of excitement … I just ask people over the weekend, follow the rules that are in place.”