LABOR DEMANDS GOVERNMENT DECLARE SOUTH WEST SYDNEY A COVID-19 HOTSPOT
The NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay is urging the Government to declare South West Sydney a COVID-19 hotspot after 34 infections were linked to the Crossroads Hotel at Casula, including 10 new cases.
“A hotspot is where you have ongoing community transmission. It means you put all the resources of Government in that area to stop the spread,” Ms McKay said.
“We have supermarkets, clubs, hotels, restaurants, cafes and gyms being closed. Why hasn’t the Premier declared South West Sydney a hotspot? We need to have properly resourced clinics and testing stations where residents who are doing the right thing aren’t forced to queue for hours.”
The Health Minister Brad Hazzard today said testing centre staff are working much longer hours than any human being should. He also told residents who were waiting up to five hours for a test to ‘pick another spot’.
Ms McKay said, “If you have a hotspot and a cluster and a suppression strategy then you must have the testing stations to cope with that demand. The Government brought in restrictions so the health system would cope. Is the Minister now saying the resources are not there to manage a cluster in South West Sydney?
“Thousands of people need screening, yet until today we only had four testing stations in that area. That’s not good enough. We’ve had people in mile long queues with their motors running because this government hasn’t deployed the appropriate resources.”
Labor said the Government has been too slow to boost testing capacity in South West Sydney. Ms McKay said the Government should put residents there on alert and conduct checks to enforce compliance in local supermarkets, clubs, hotels and restaurants.
“We need to do everything possible to avoid a lockdown and protect jobs. Equally, you have to make sure that where a cluster occurs there is an appropriate health response.
“On Sunday I called for more resources. I called for more testing clinics and increased hours of operation. I called for it again on Monday and Tuesday. And I’m saying it today. I don’t think anyone waiting in line at the Crossroads Hotel or at Picton or the Ash Roads Sporting complex will tell you the response has been adequate.
“We need to urgently stop the spread of this virus. Residents need convenient and accessible testing. The best way to do that is to declare a COVID hotspot. And to make sure every available resource is poured into South West Sydney to prevent the cluster growing.”