Pendle Hill Coronavirus Australia tragedy: Superspreader wake for suicide death ‘wasn’t a gathering’

A clan from western Sydney has explained that a Covid superspread event has taken place at their home because they are “one big family”, mourning a terrible tragedy in a cramped three-bedroom house.

About 50 people descended on the small Pendle Hill estate on July 19 to mourn a 27-year-old man who had died by suicide earlier that week, despite the ban on large public health gatherings.

However, the family’s attempt to reach out at a terrible time led to a super spreader event, with some 28 attendees testing positive for Covid-19 over the next eight days.

A grandmother, 85, died there Monday afternoon after testing positive for the virus, authorities confirmed.

The vigil has now been linked to six cases at a unit block in Blacktown, where residents are under police guard, as all were considered close contacts.

When Daily Mail Australia asked how the vigil had come about, a close relative seemed to suggest it was unplanned.

“It wasn’t a meeting, no. We’re one big family, that’s all,” they said.

A vigil was held at this Pendle Hill home on July 19, two days after the tragic death of a 27-year-old man. It turned out to be a super spreader event with 28 of the 50 attendees testing positive for the virus

Emergency services in Hazmat suits can be seen outside the building where the 85-year-old died of Covid on Monday afternoon.  The woman reportedly refused to be taken to hospital

Emergency services in Hazmat suits can be seen outside the building where the 85-year-old died of Covid on Monday afternoon. The woman reportedly refused to be taken to hospital

Boxes of what appeared to be medical supplies lay at the front of the property

Boxes of what appeared to be medical supplies lay at the front of the property

Neighbors said a 'good' large family lived on the property in Sydney's west

Neighbors said a ‘good’ large family lived on the property in Sydney’s west

Neighbor Daryl Sadler told the Parramatta Advertiser he had seen the family mourn at the front after the young man’s death 10 days ago.

“They were praying on the floor here, one of them kicked into the man’s car,” Mr. Sadler told the advertiser.

“I heard the father wail and I saw the young man take off his clothes.”

NSW authorities have pointed to the superspreader incident as an example of Sydney’s major challenge to destroy the Delta variant, with households in the west and southwest of the city being one of the main drivers.

On Saturday, deputy chief health officer Dr. Jeremy McNulty said authorities were “concerned” about the dispersion at the vigil.

“It’s an example of how families come together, even in tragic times when you naturally grieve can be a risk.

“Covid can easily take hold and spread to their households and then further afield.”

An apartment building in nearby Blacktown, where six people tested positive, has been linked to the Pendle Hill superspreader wake

An apartment building in nearby Blacktown, where six people tested positive, has been linked to the Pendle Hill superspreader wake

Cleaners in Hazmat suits arrive at the locked apartment complex on Devitt St . on Tuesday morning

Cleaners in Hazmat suits arrive at the locked apartment complex on Devitt St . on Tuesday morning

FIND THE LATEST EXPOSURE SITES NEAR YOU

NSW reported 172 new cases Tuesday — the highest of this outbreak to date — with 60 of the cases in the community while contagious.

During the state government’s daily press updates this week, reporters were told that the spread is largely observed between workplaces and households.

Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said she hoped to announce the next steps in Sydney’s five-week lockdown early on Wednesday.

Ms Berejiklian appealed to Sydneysiders to get vaccinated against the virus as she rolled out a new pilot program to make the shots available at state pharmacies and pharmacies.

Starting this week, chemists can administer the AstraZeneca Covid-19 shot to all NSW residents over the age of 40 as part of a pilot program to increase vaccination coverage across the state.

Tuesday's increase is the highest daily increase in Sydney's latest outbreak and in some cases the highest daily increase since April 2020

Tuesday’s increase in cases is the largest in Sydney’s latest outbreak and the highest daily increase since April 2020

Sydneysiders walk through the city on Monday as the Delta Covid-19 outbreak continues to grow

Sydneysiders walk through the city on Monday as the Delta Covid-19 outbreak continues to grow

“My message to everyone is, please come forward and get the vaccine,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Not only do you protect yourself, but you also protect those closest to you.”

The announcement came after it emerged that authorities could split Sydney in two to contain the outbreak by tightening lockdowns in the virus-ravaged southwest while the rest of the city roamed free.

The NSW government held a five-hour crisis cabinet meeting Monday to decide whether to tighten restrictions only in areas hardest hit by the virus, such as Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool.

There were also talks about whether or not to relax public health regulations for the Northern Beaches, Wollongong and Shellharbour – all of which have seen no new cases in about a month.

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