People wear face masks in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney. Pictur: AAP /Steven Saphore

People wear face masks in front of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney. Pictur: AAP /Steven SaphoreSource:AAP

A Sydney doctor is calling for people in NSW’s major population centres to be quarantined as the number of coronavirus cases increases.

Alle McMahon
MARCH 10, 202012:07PM
Doomsday predictions are spreading untethered online, but experts say there are many ways the virus could play out.

A Sydney doctor is calling for people in NSW’s major population centres to be quarantined as the number of coronavirus cases increases.

Dr Cathie Hull, who works in the emergency department at Ryde Hospital where a doctor has already tested positive to COVID-19 after returning from Iran, said she had spent two weeks in self-isolation.

“I didn’t see my daughter and my granddaughter,” Dr Hull told the ABC.

“I can see the importance of the isolation process and how it can buy time for us to get the health system ready to handle more cases. I think if everybody did it for two weeks, we might be in a better position to move on with fewer cases and to cope with the demands on the health system.”

It comes as NSW Health confirmed eight new cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 55 in the worst-hit state in Australia and 100 nationally.

The new cases include a woman in her 20s, a known contact of a previously confirmed case at Ryde Hospital, a woman in her 40s who recently returned from South Korea, and a male in his 20s, a Victorian resident who recently returned from Hong Kong.

Also testing positive are a woman in her 80s who transferred from Dorothy Henderson Lodge Aged Care Facility to Ryde Hospital, and a woman in her 40s who is related to a deceased resident from Dorothy Henderson Lodge.

NSW Health is also following up three other cases – a woman in her 30s, a male in his 70s and a woman in her 40s, to identify the source of their infection and trace their close contacts.

“Following confirmation of three cases at St Patrick’s Marist College, Dundas and Willoughby Girls High School, NSW Health is contacting close contacts of the three children to advise them to self-isolate and seek medical advice if they become unwell,” the deparment said.

In Sydney, people have tested positive for the virus everywhere from the Northern Beaches right down to Cronulla, affecting schools, hospitals and an aged care facility.

At least 10 hot spots Clusters have been identified across the city, including at the Sydney Airport, Epping, and Macquarie Park, where two of Australia’s three virus-related deaths have occurred.

“This is likely to be the new norm,” Health Minister Brad Hazzard said on Monday afternoon about schools being forced to close.

“We have established now a clear orthodoxy. If a child or a staff member or any other person within a school is found to have the COVID-19 virus, then effectively a breather will be taken and a day out will be the immediate requirement.”

NSW chief economist Stephen Walters says a state recession isn’t inevitable but is currently a risk.

Here’s how the outbreak has unfolded so far.

 

NED-1337-Sydney virus map - 0

 

FIRST CASES CONFIRMED

The state’s first three cases were confirmed in Sydney on January 25, about three weeks after the virus was detected n Wuhan, China.

All three cases involved men, aged in their 30s to 50s, who developed symptoms after travelling to China. Two had travelled to Wuhan directly, while the third had been in contact with an infected person in China.

A fourth case involving a woman who had travelled to Wuhan was then confirmed two days later.

NSW GOES ON HIGH ALERT

By Valentine’s Day, the state was on high alert for any signs of an outbreak.

Staff at Sydney Airport began screening thousands of travellers for symptoms, while hundreds of people were being swabbed and cleared.

Myths about the virus started circulating on social media, prompting a warning from NSW Health, while anyone who had recently travelled to hot spots overseas, including Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea, was urged to monitor their health.

But it wasn’t until March 1 that the state’s next two cases were confirmed.

They involved two people who had recently travelled to Iran, where cases were beginning to skyrocket.

Comment:

Note that the spread of the virus is from centres where large numbers of the populace have been infected, and then the individual then returns to Australia.

 

Workers disinfect the shrine of the Shiite Saint Imam Abdulazim in Tehran, Iran. Picture: AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi

Workers disinfect the shrine of the Shiite Saint Imam Abdulazim in Tehran, Iran. Picture: AP Photo/Ebrahim NorooziSource:AP

BIG SPIKE IN CASES

The next seven days then became a horror week for the state, with the first virus-related deaths confirmed, the first school closure and the number of cases jumping from six to 40.

On March 2, three cases were confirmed, including a health care worker who hadn’t travelled to any high-risk countries.

The next day six more people tested positive, including travellers from Iran, South Korea and Japan.

Then on March 4, NSW Health confirmed an aged care resident at the Dorothy Henderson Lodge at Macquarie Park had died of the disease – the state’s first death and country’s second.

The woman, who was in her 90s, had been looked after by a nurse who had also tested positive, and two more residents were infected, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

The Dorothy Henderson Lodge is in lockdown after a spate of COVID-19 cases. Picture: John Appleyard

The Dorothy Henderson Lodge is in lockdown after a spate of COVID-19 cases. Picture: John AppleyardSource:News Corp Australia

 

Health authorities immediately began scrambling to trace the source of the virus, as none had recently travelled overseas.

Staff and a group of 17 children from a nearby child care centre also had to be tested after visiting the facility, though none tested positive.

The aged care facility has now become the site of one of the biggest virus clusters in Sydney, with more staff and close contacts infected and a second death confirmed on Sunday.

 

FIRST SCHOOL CLOSED

The state’s first school closure came on March 5, when Epping Boys High School announced a Year 11 student had tested positive for the virus.

The school closed for one day on Friday, with staff and students advised to stay home and self-isolate over the weekend.

But close contacts, including anyone who spent between 15 minutes and two hours with the student, with have now been asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

Students returned to Epping Boys High School on Monday. Picture Rohan Kelly

Students returned to Epping Boys High School on Monday. Picture Rohan KellySource:News Corp Australia

There were also fears for about 77 people who attended a medical conference in Liverpool on February 18, after two attendees – a doctor from Ryde Hospital and another from Liverpool Hospital – later tested positive.

But NSW Health confirmed on Monday it had successfully traced all delegates and no further cases were found.

“This is a bit like a police investigation in a sense, trying to track who is coming into contact with who and what possible associations there may have been,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.

TOLL NOW STANDS AT 55

Now, 44 days after the first infection was detected, the total number of cases confirmed in New South Wales now stands at 55.

Among the latest to become infected include a man in his 70s who visited St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst on Friday, a Hunter man who recently travelled to Italy, and two students from St Patrick’s Marist College in Dundas and Willoughby Girls High School.

But Dr Chant said none of the recent cases were “random”.

“The vast majority of new cases can be traced to existing cases,” she said on Monday.

“This is reassuring as it means we are tracking how COVID-19 has been transmitted and in general we are not seeing random cases occur in the community at large.”

Comments and Summary

What is reassuring about the virus spreading? The issue here is some of these cases are from people who have come from key epicentres like Iran and South Korea.

We are beginning to see very high infection rates in the Sydney suburbs, This doesn’t bode well for the rest of Australia.

Note the clusters that are now forming and showing themselves:

Ryde Hospital

St Vincent’s Hospital

Dorothy Henderson Lodge.

St Patrick’s Marist College, Dundas

Epping Boys High School

Willoughby Girls High School

 

Remember – Case case cluster clusters- Boom !!!

 

Latest News 

The areas in NSW hardest hit by the deadly coronavirus have been revealed by NSW Health as the nation braces for a stage three lockdown.

The maps, released on Wednesday, come as the toll for confirmed cases in the state reach more than 1029. An additional 211 cases were reported in the past 24 hours.

The latest figures are as of 8pm March 24. 67,148 cases have been tested and excluded.

500 of those confirmed cases were acquired overseas, 279 are under investigation, 176 are locally acquired from contact of a confirmed case and/or in a known cluster, while 74 cases are locally acquired with the contact not identified.

New South Wales also received its first cases of COVID-19 in children under 10 years old with a two-month-old boy and a seven-year-old girl testing positive. The two children are unrelated and the cases are separate.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned even tougher measures could soon be in place in the hardest hit areas struck by the pandemic.

RELATED: Follow the latest coronavirus updates

The cluster maps show a high number of cases in the Sydney Metropolitan Region and Hunter New England region, which stretches from Newcastle up to the Queensland border. The area has more than 70 cases of COVID-19 in the region, including two children under 10.

It comes as an emergency alert has been issued due to the QLD/NSW border restrictions beginning at 12.01am Thursday.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned residents the NSW government was planning to implement mobile phone tracking technology, similar to a model based in Singapore, to help catch those breaking the rules.

She reiterated there should be no social gatherings at homes unless they were with immediate family members.

“I want to stress again that this is a time that we all need to step up,” Ms Berejiklian said.

The maps show a high cluster along the coastline of the eastern seaboard towards Sydney, with less cases further inland.

Six new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Western NSW Local Health District (LHD), bringing the total to 21.

Confirmed cases have been reported in the Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra, Dubbo, Mid-Western and Orange local government areas.

On Sunday, a 41-year-old man who recently returned home from a trip abroad tested positive in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District.

Across the Sydney Metroplitan Region, South Eastern Sydney has 81-160 cases, Northern Sydney has 41-80 cases. Western Sydney, Sydney and South Western LHDs have 21-40 cases. Nepean, Blue Mountains and Central Coast LHDs have 11-20 cases each.

RELATED: What is social distancing?

RELATED: What social gatherings are now banned?

Picture: NSW Health

Picture: NSW HealthSource:Supplied

Across the Sydney Metropolitan region, South Eastern Sydney and Northern Sydney are among the suburbs with the highest confirmed cases, with South Eastern Sydney topping the chart at 292 cases. Northern Sydney is a fraction behind at 209 cases. Of the 10543 tests undertaken in South Eastern Sydney, just 2.7 per cent have returned a positive reading.

The Nepean Blue Mountains and Central Coast have 11-20 cases each.

Picture: NSW Health

Picture: NSW HealthSource:Supplied

Among the locally acquired COVID-19 cases in NSW with an unknown source of infection, Hornsby, located on the Upper North Shore of Sydney, was equal to Sydney with the highest number of cases, between 5-9. Northern Sydney also ranks highest for the amount of tests undertaken at 12550.

There are currently 10 COVID-19 cases in Intensive Care Units and of those cases, only four require ventilators at this stage.

NSW’s Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said many of the new cases were linked to the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship, the Ruby Princess.

The bulk of coronavirus cases in New South Wales are littered across Sydney’s richest suburbs, NSW Health data shows.

The Local Government Area of Waverley, which includes the affluent areas of Bondi, Vaucluse and Bronte, has recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state, with 116.

Waverley Council was forced to fence off Bondi and other beaches last week after thousands of people ignored social distancing advice from the government and flocked to sunbathe, sending Prime Minister Scott Morrison on a furious rant during a press conference.

Crowds flocked to Bondi Beach despite government advice about social distancing. Picture: Britta Campion/The Australian

Crowds flocked to Bondi Beach despite government advice about social distancing. Picture: Britta Campion/The AustralianSource:News Corp Australia

The northern beaches, which counts Manly, Curl Curl and Narrabeen in its area, has clocked 77 cases of the potentially deadly disease.

Sydney, which governs the CBD, Pyrmont and Paddington, has tallied 76 cases.

The nearby leafy Woollahra precinct, comprising of ritzy suburbs of Double Bay, Point Piper and Bellevue Hill – where many local celebrities call home – has nudged 68 cases.

Point Piper is one of the richest areas in Sydney. Picture: John Appleyard

Point Piper is one of the richest areas in Sydney. Picture: John AppleyardSource:News Corp Australia

For contrast, the Inner West has recorded 34 cases of the virus, with Parramatta at 27 and Willoughby at 14.

There are now 3291 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Australia with 1405 in New South Wales, 685 in Victoria, 555 in Queensland, 255 in Western Australia, 257 in South Australia, 62 in the ACT, 46 in Tasmania and 12 in the Northern Territory.

Thirteen people have died – two in WA, seven in NSW, one in Queensland and three in Victoria.

Data from health departments across Australia’s three largest states have shown that, in NSW and Victoria, council areas with higher income levels have been hardest hit by the virus.

In Victoria, Stonnington Council is the most affected with 58 cases. Centred on Toorak and South Yarra, it is one of the richest LGAs in Australia.

The City of Stonnington has recorded the most coronavirus cases in Melbourne. Picture: Ian Currie

The City of Stonnington has recorded the most coronavirus cases in Melbourne. Picture: Ian CurrieSource:News Corp Australia

Second is Mornington Peninsula with 39 cases, City of Melbourne with 33 and Boroondara – which includes Kew – with 28. The City of Melbourne’s higher number of cases could also be partly due to the large number of students within the LGA’s boundary.

Glen Eira, Port Phillip, Moreland and Greater Geelong councils all have more than 20 cases in Victoria.

In Queensland, Brisbane and the Gold Coast have by far the highest number of cases.

Brisbane’s metro north region topped the list with 165 cases followed by metro south with 132.

The Gold Coast has 106 and Sunshine Coast 64.