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SYDNEY, May 10 — The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) tried to reassure residents that new Covid-19 cases due to be reported on Monday are of no particular concern, as authorities hunt for the missing link in a case that has reinstated restrictions in Sydney.
NSW state Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said ahead of the release of the latest coronavirus case numbers at 11am local time (0100 GMT) that there was “nothing particularly of concern” about them. NSW has recorded no new cases for the past three days.
Australia’s most populous state on Sunday extended social distancing curbs by a week after authorities failed to find a transmission path between an infected overseas traveller and a resident in his 50s who tested positive last week.
“There has been a lot of work to identify how the transmission event occurred. Unfortunately, we haven’t found that missing link,” Chant said.
Authorities are concerned that until those links can be traced the virus could be spreading in the community through undiscovered cases.
More than 5.3 million people living in and around Sydney, Australia’s biggest metropolitan area, have been ordered to wear masks on public transport and at indoor venues, while house gatherings are limited to 20 guests until May 17.
NSW on Monday opened a mass vaccination hub in Sydney aiming to administer up to 30,000 vaccines every week to ramp up a national vaccination programme that has missed its initial dosage targets.
With just over 29,900 Covid-19 cases and 910 deaths, Australia has fared much better than many other developed countries but its countrywide immunisation drive has hit major roadblocks.
More than 2.65 million total vaccine doses have been administered as of Saturday, far short of the four million pledged by the end of March. — Reuters
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