Coronavirus crisis: Military deployed to hotspots as NSW infections remain high
NSW has reported 170 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and at least 42 of those people were circulating in the community for all or part of their infectious period.
It comes as the military prepares to join NSW Police in the areas worst hit by Sydney’s outbreak to ensure residents are complying with lockdown restrictions.
Greater Sydney and surrounding regions are in lockdown until at least August 28 as health authorities battle to contain an outbreak of the virulent Delta strain.
NSW recorded a record 239 local virus cases in the previous 24-hour period.
“Today’s number is considerably less than yesterday ... We expect to see those numbers bounce around and what we do need (to see) is not just the stabilisation but of course the numbers to go down,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters on Friday.
- Opinion: We need to roll up for WA
- Coronavirus crisis: How Australia is faring
- Indigenous vaccination rates lag well behind nation
There are 58 COVID-19 patients in NSW in intensive care, with 24 ventilated.
The 170 cases came from more than 95,000 tests conducted in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday.
Defence Minister Peter Dutton earlier said people shouldn’t be intimidated by the presence of 300 ADF personnel in the streets of eight western and southwest Sydney council areas.
“All of us feel for those in lockdown in NSW, we want people to be out of lockdown and back to their normal lives as quickly as possible,” Mr Dutton told reporters on Friday.
“I want the presence of the ADF personnel to be a message of reassurance.”
Police will also target businesses across the city breaching public health orders, including those in the construction industry allowed to reopen from Saturday.
Their efforts will be supported in the coming days by the ADF members, who begin deploying on Friday for training before commencing work on Monday.
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller told ABC radio on Friday the presence of the ADF would help officers double their workload, particularly for checking close contacts are isolating.
The military has already supported hotel quarantine policing, logistics in the Police Operations Centre and compliance during a 2020 border operation.
The two million people in the eight western Sydney local government areas, covering places like Fairfield, Cumberland and Canterbury-Bankstown, can’t leave those areas unless they are essential workers.
Masks are also mandatory at all times - including outdoors.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails