NSW Premier to discuss large-scale shutdown


Ms Berejiklian will today attend a COAG meeting where measures such as mass school closures and shutting down large events will be on the agenda.

NSW is ramping up efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, which authorities warn could infect as many as 1.6 million in the first wave of a statewide outbreak.

Yesterday evening there were 78 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in NSW, including a barista who worked at Pastadelli in Wahroonga on Sydney’s upper north shore.

Chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant says preparations are underway for 20 per cent of the state’s eight million residents to catch COVID-19.

Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson were on Thursday confirmed to be infected.

Wilson last Saturday performed in front of more than 200 at the Sydney Opera House.

The Sydney Opera House is getting in touch with anyone, including patrons and staff, who came into contact with the couple during the performance.

Dr Chant expects every person who becomes ill will pass it on to 2.68 others on average – although this could be reduced through self-isolation, social distancing and handwashing.

The World Health Organisation has declared the global crisis a pandemic, sounding the alarm about mounting infection rates and slow government responses.

NSW Health is planning to double the state’s intensive care unit capacity and double the availability of ventilators.

Ms Berejiklian says residents should stay home if they feel ill. “There’s no need to panic, to massively change what you’re doing, but it’s not business as usual,” she told reporters on Thursday.



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