Kerry Chant prays for NSW as COVID outbreak clouds New Year’s Eve celebrations

Kerry Chant has urged people with the weakest of COVID-19 symptoms to sit out at the New Year celebration and also revealed that she is “beaten” over how many unvaccinated pregnant women are in the hospital with COVID-19.

“I can understand at this time of year that everyone wants to connect,” New South Wales’ head of health in Sydney Harbor said on Friday as the iconic site was set up to host crowds.

“But if you have the mildest symptoms, just stay home and watch the celebrations on TV or connect on social media.

“Just do not go out.

“It’s the right prayer for everyone. That’s the first thing we would do.”

NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney on Friday.
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney on Friday. Credit: Bianca Di Marchi/AAP

The number of coronavirus cases in NSW has increased more than 70 percent in a single day with 21,151 new infections on Friday.

Six new deaths were also announced on New Year’s Eve, and there are now 832 people in the hospital with the virus, including 69 in the intensive care unit, 19 of whom require ventilation.

Dr. Chant said it is likely that the case numbers are higher than those reported as there is a lot of transmission of the virus in the community.

She has approved changes to the quarantine requirements adopted by the NSW government, including narrowing the definition of close contact and shortening the quarantine period for confirmed cases to seven days.

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