Health authorities are warning just one new case of COVID-19 could topple NSW’s efforts to curb outbreaks of coronavirus across the state.
Health authorities are warning just one new case of COVID-19 could topple NSW's efforts to curb outbreaks of coronavirus across the state.
NSW Health's Dr Jeremy McAnulty said although the state has seen consecutive days without any cases of coronavirus, everyone must remain vigilant and continue safe practices.
"We've got to be not complacent at all," Dr McAnulty said told Today.
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"We've got a couple of days without any cases, that could change very rapidly."
Dr McAnulty said although zero recorded cases was good, low testing numbers were a concern and that could lead to another outbreak.
"While it is great news and we really thank everyone who's doing their part to get tested, the testing numbers need to be higher," Dr McAnulty said.
"We've seen a drop over the last few weeks, perhaps there has been less runny noses for other viruses like rhinovirus and certainly very little flu around, so people may not have as many symptoms as they normally do."
Dr McAnulty warned that although NSW has seen zero new cases in the past days, returning overseas travellers will inevitably break that run and that is where community vigilance will play a huge role in preventing another outbreak.
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"Many countries are doing it really bad, and that continues to be a lesson for us in Australia," he said.
"If we don't maintain a certain level of vigilance and a certain amount of restrictions, then it can easily come into Australia and sweep over us."
He said completely eradicating the virus from Australia isn't realistic as long as people continue returning from overseas, but getting the right vaccine approved will play a large role in ultimately achieving that goal.
"At this point, we don't have the tools for doing that," he said.
"People are working really hard to get a vaccine, but a vaccine to allow eradication has to be really, really effective and many vaccines might provide 70-80 per cent of protection, but you really need close to 100 per cent to be able to eradicate this."
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He said while NSW zero cases looks promising, with testing numbers not where they should be, some cases may be getting missed and that is why Sydney should still be considered a hotspot by Queensland.
"People can have infections and not realise it. That's why that message of coming forward for testing with even the slightest symptoms is really so important so we're not missing cases," he said.
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Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-nsw-health-dr-jeremy-mcanulty-urges-public-to-get-tested-if-symptomatic/dbebca6a-4eb4-4cbf-b300-311d98b4b03b