The number of new cases in New South Wales could be allowed to rise as high as 250 per day before the state government would implement a second lockdown, according to reports detailing the NSW cabinet’s most recent talks.
With the number of new cases and deaths in Victoria continuing to climb, and a relatively low but persistent level of community transmission still present in NSW, premier Gladys Berejiklian’s cabinet are divided over whether tighter restrictions should be imposed in the near future, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Some senior ministers have argued for waiting until community transmission was far more widespread than at present due to economic concerns, although all ministers agreed that their decision making would be bound by the advice of health experts.
Health officials are scrambling to avert an outbreak in NSW on the same scale as Victoria, which went back into lockdown when the number of new daily cases had reached about 120 per day – far lower than the 250 per day some members of the NSW cabinet regard as an appropriate threshold.
The alarming figure has been attributed to an unnamed minister, but a spokesperson for the NSW government told the Herald that NSW could not go back into lockdown because the state “was never in lockdown” in the first place. “In NSW, what motivates us primarily is health advice. We also have a keen eye on jobs and the economy. If you’re not in control of the virus, you’re not in control of the economy.”