New South Wales has registered 1,127 new cases of Covid-19 and two deaths, as epidemiologists say the Sydney outbreak may have already peaked after nearly 12 weeks of lockdown.
NSW registered 1,257 cases Monday, down from 1,262 on Sunday and 1,599 on Saturday, while vaccination coverage reached nearly 47 percent.
Deakin University chair of epidemiology Catherine Bennett said the reproduction rate in NSW – the number of people each infected person passes the virus to – has now fallen to 1 after spending most of the outbreak at 1.3.
Sunseekers at Bondi Beach on Sunday mornings. Epidemiologists have raised hopes that the Covid-19 outbreak in Sydney has already peaked after nearly 12 weeks of strict home isolation
“I think we have a very good sign that we are seeing this curve flatten now,” she told the… ABC.
NSW’s seven-day moving average also fell slightly from 1.430 to 1.395, a promising sign that the state is on top of the spread.
Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said last week that models show the rise in daily cases of NSW would peak this week, although the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital will increase to about mid-October and the IC peak to early November.
Professor Bennett said rising vaccination rates in the most virus-affected parts of Sydney were making a difference.
Nearly 85 percent of residents of Blacktown in the west of the city have received their first dose, Ms Berejiklian said last week.
“We are starting to see that real efforts to increase vaccination rates translate into better protection in the community and that then translates into a much higher level of control,” said Professor Bennett.
NSW registered 1,257 locally acquired cases Monday — down from 1,599 on Saturday — while the state’s double-dose vaccination rate reached 47 percent
University of South Australia epidemiologist Adrian Esterman said he was optimistic that the spread of cases in NSW was decreasing, but it is too early to know if the outbreak has reached its peak.
Ms Berejiklian said on Monday that officials saw ‘a stabilization’ in some of Sydney’s 12 local government areas of concern.
But she warned that cases in the suburbs of the city were now skyrocketing.
Health officials are predicting that the rise in daily cases of NSW will peak “in the next week or so”, while the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital will increase until about mid-October. Pictured is NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant on Sunday
About 47 percent of people over 16 in NSW are fully vaccinated against Covid-19
“We have also seen an increase in the number of cases as we reported yesterday and the day before in the inner city of Glebe and Redfern,” she said.
“We are asking communities in those areas to please come forward and get vaccinated, but also to make sure they are adhering to Covid restrictions.”
There are 1,189 Covid-19 patients being treated in hospital, including 222 in intensive care, 94 of whom require ventilators.
Sydneysiders can now congregate outdoors with up to five people as the first set of restrictions in the city are rolled back.
The new rules for outdoor gatherings came into effect on Monday for millions of people, marking the beginning of the end of a harsh lockdown that has lasted nearly 12 weeks in the city.
Those living outside the 12 hotspot municipalities can now meet outside for as long as they want with up to five adults plus children under 12.
Residents living in the hotspot councils – which are subject to a 9:00 PM – 5:00 PM curfew – will be able to socialize outside with their household for two hours a day, as long as everyone is over 18 years old.
Regardless of location, residents must be fully vaccinated and must do their outdoor activities within 3 miles (5 km) of their home.