Residents of northwest Sydney – including the large local Indian community – have turned to COVID-19 testing in large numbers after traces of the virus were found in the area’s wastewater.
- There were long queues at test locations in Northwest Sydney this week
- It comes after traces of coronavirus were found in wastewater in the area
- Sydney’s Indian community leaders helped get the message across about testing
NSW Health alerted more than 18,500 residents in Sydney’s northwest and west on Wednesday after a coronavirus was discovered at two local pumping stations last week.
Affected suburbs are North Kellyville, Rouse Hill, Box Hill, the Ponds, Kellyville Ridge, Parklea, Quakers Hill, and Acacia Gardens.
In response, 23,236 people tested across NSW in the 24 hours through 8:00 p.m. Wednesday.
Many were from the northwest region, with long lines at test sites in the area, including a drive-through clinic in The Fiddler car park in Rouse Hill.
It is because NSW recorded no local coronavirus cases for the sixth straight day, out of 18,941 swabs removed yesterday.
Sydney’s northwest is home to much of the Indian community in Australia who came out in droves to get tested.
Community leader Yadu Singh said the great response was due to a concerted effort to get the message across.
“When this warning came out, all community leaders took action,” said Dr. Singh, cardiologist and president of the Federation of Indian Associations of NSW.
“I have around 15 WhatsApp groups myself, with more than 2,000 people in each group.
“I set the NSW Health alert on all of these groups, and being from a trusted source – NSW Health – it was widespread across the region.”
Dr. Singh said the mass participation shows that the church has been particularly hardworking.
“We know that India has a tremendous prevalence of COVID-19 infections – there is currently an increase in New Delhi and other cities – [and ] It’s a concern with family members back there, “he said.
“So when there is a warning in the northwest of Sydney, we are very responsive.
“We are very, very aware of the problem.”
Dr. Jeremy McAnulty of NSW Health thanked all of the communities for signing up for testing.
“We are also grateful to the community organizations and companies across NSW who are supporting COVID testing efforts by hosting clinics.” McAnulty said.
Dr. Singh said the Indian community was one of the best informed communities in NSW.
“I actually give my community a lot of points for being very responsible and very attentive during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is our social duty – we are all involved together.”
Dr. Singh said the warning coincided with one of the Indian Hindu community’s most important celebrations for the year, the Festival of Diwali or the Festival of Lights this weekend.
“This year there is no festival, no mass dinners and people just celebrate at home with their families.”
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