Forty-five of the 50 in attendance at the ‘superspreader’ vigil in western Sydney have now tested positive for Covid, NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian revealed on Wednesday.
The July 19 meeting was held at a small three-bedroom house in Pendle Hill to mourn the suicide death of a 27-year-old man two days earlier.
The young man’s grandmother, 85, died Monday afternoon at the property after testing positive for the virus.
Ms Berejiklian revealed that 90 percent of those in attendance at the vigil had contracted the virus during her daily press conference on Wednesday.
The prime minister said the example shows that while “you may think you’re doing your grandmother or your aunt a favor by stopping by and feeding them, or going in to say hello….that’s a death sentence.” could be.
‘Do not do it.’
The vigil has now been linked to six cases in a unit block in Blacktown, where residents have been under police guard for 14 days, as all were considered close contacts.
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 45 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
Boxes of what appeared to be medical supplies lay at the front of the property
Given the circumstances, no participant has yet been fined by NSW Police, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys confirmed Tuesday.
A close relative told Daily Mail Australia there was no formal planning for a vigil.
“It wasn’t a meeting, no. We’re one big family, that’s all,” they said.
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 why it had proved so difficult to contain an outbreak of Covid’s Delta variant, with households mixing in the west and southwest of the city are the main causes.
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
Cleaners in Hazmat suits arrive at the locked apartment complex on Devitt St . on Tuesday morning
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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 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
“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 authorities could split Sydney in two to contain the outbreak by tightening lockdowns in the virus-ravaged southwest and west while easing restrictions elsewhere to allow businesses to reopen.
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.