Covid-19 cases, fuelled by the Omicron variant, are soaring across his state and the country, but NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet still has a positive end of year message.

NSW recorded 12,226 new cases on Thursday, with 746 people in hospital and 63 in intensive care, after almost doubling the day before.

However, Mr Perrottet said lockdowns were not what the people of NSW wanted and the burden on the state’s resources was reduced by 92.7 per cent of people being vaccinated and 94.2 per cent having had at least one dose.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (pictured) has praised people's community spirit in the fight against Covid-19

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (pictured) has praised people's community spirit in the fight against Covid-19

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet (pictured) has praised people’s community spirit in the fight against Covid-19

‘Our exceptionally high vaccination rates, further strengthened by a strong take-up of booster shots, helps ensure people who catch Covid are at a much lower risk of getting seriously ill,’ he wrote in an opinion piece for the Sydney Morning Herald.

The premier said though many people had to cancel plans over Christmas due to isolation requirements and testing delays, this revealed a strong community spirit that would survive whatever the pandemic threw at it.

Mr Perrottet said preliminary data indicated the Omicron variant was less severe than Delta and that ‘now is the time to change strategy and allow the virus to become endemic – essentially, to live with it’.  

The premier said the increase in Covid case numbers due to Omicron was expected, that given the variant’s higher transmissibility.

The only way to keep its numbers down would be to enforce the most severe lockdown yet – ‘borders shut tight, everyone staying home, workplaces shut down, communities crippled. In short, Christmas cancelled for everyone’. 

‘It’s hard to believe anyone really wants that kind of response, particularly because even radical restrictions offer no guarantees – just look at Western Australia and the rapid increase in cases around the country,’ he said.

Mr Perrottet said when the evidence indicated the state needed to reintroduce mask mandates and QR codes, he did so.

Members of the public (pictured) queue for a Covid-19 PCR test at the Rose Bay Drive-through Laverty Pathology clinic, in Sydney on Thursday, December 30, 2021

Members of the public (pictured) queue for a Covid-19 PCR test at the Rose Bay Drive-through Laverty Pathology clinic, in Sydney on Thursday, December 30, 2021

Members of the public (pictured) queue for a Covid-19 PCR test at the Rose Bay Drive-through Laverty Pathology clinic, in Sydney on Thursday, December 30, 2021

‘If higher case numbers translate into a risk of excessive pressure on our health system, we will adapt again, continuing to put safety first, while having society continue to function as much as possible,’ he said.

Despite the growing number of cases, the premier said the state had the appropriate restrictions. 

He said the death rate was not rising sharply and the number of people in hospital and ICU was manageable. 

The premier said a highly vaccinated population required a strategy focused not on cases, but serious health impacts and the state’s approach to testing was also changing. 

He said though people were accustomed to getting tested for any reason, with high vaccination levels testing was only necessary if people felt unwell. 

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has encouraged people to get booster shots (pictured) of Covid-19 vaccinations

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has encouraged people to get booster shots (pictured) of Covid-19 vaccinations

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has encouraged people to get booster shots (pictured) of Covid-19 vaccinations

Earlier this week NSW placed its first significant order of rapid antigen tests, 50 million. 

The premier also said there would be changes to isolation times, close contact definitions and PCR requirements for returning travellers. 

‘The pandemic isn’t over,’ he said. Challenges will arise, and we will continue to adapt. 

‘But the new approach is a product of the progress we have made, so let’s not lose sight of what we have achieved together. If we maintain the optimism and determination that has got us this far, we will find so much to celebrate this summer.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Three senior cops BANNED from force after behaviour towards woman at ‘boozy’ retirement bash sparked misconduct probe

THREE senior cops have been banned from the force three years after…

Mum of teen paralysed after kidnapping calls for tougher sentences for ‘monster’ ex-boyfriend and pal

THE mum of a teen paralysed after being kidnapped has called for…

We can’t flush our loo or brush our teeth after bungling water company supply dried up – but our neighbours have plenty

RESIDENTS on one side of a road can’t flush their loo or…

SFO ‘evacuation’ – Thousands of San Francisco International Airport passengers stranded outside during ‘police activity’

SAN Francisco International Airport has been evacuated, leaving thousands of passengers stranded…