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Premier Berejiklian predicts challenging two months ahead

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Premier Gladys Berejiklian has told people in NSW to stay vigilant, ahead of an incoming peak in COVID-19 cases and a “challenging” two months.

The state, unfortunately, recorded 1,262 new locally-acquired cases and seven deaths on Sunday.

Ms Berejiklian admitted there had been some stabilisation of infection numbers in the LGAs of concern but the virus was “picking up pace” in certain suburbs. 

“We can’t afford to let our guard down,” she said.

“We cannot afford to not keep doing what we’ve been doing because otherwise we will see too many cases when we open up at 70% double dose and that isn’t what we want to see.”

The daily 11am updates will, from Monday 13 September, be replaced by a video from NSW Health to communicate the new case numbers and concerns of the day. 

The seven deaths reported included a man in his 20s from western Sydney and six people from south-western Sydney in their 40s, 50s, 70s and 80s. 

Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said the man in his 20s was unvaccinated and had significant underlying health conditions.

“However, I just want to make the point, that while you are likely to have more severe COVID if you are older and have underlying health conditions, even previously healthy people of all ages can get severe disease and die,” she stated.

When asked to respond to images of people flocking to beaches in Sydney’s east over the weekend, Dr Chant said it caused her “some concern” but said the reality was outdoor environments were “probably the safest” if people were social distancing.

“I would like to see that people are really respectful and they are adhering to the Public Health Orders as they move about,” she added.

Meanwhile, state and federal opposition leaders have criticised the plan to scrap the daily live-streamed briefings weeks before the COVID-19 crisis is expected to peak in NSW. 

But, Ms Berejiklian defended the government’s decision and said she would still front the media when necessary whether it was seven or three days a week.

“While there would be ample information provided on a daily basis, I will not necessarily be the one providing the information on a daily basis, and that is because, as I have said, I need a clear head,” she said.

“The next two months will be the most challenging our state has seen, perhaps ever.

“And, I need to make sure we are not only making decisions for the next day but for the next week and next month.”

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