July 9, 2021 | By Joyce DiMascio

The Australian Medical Association has stepped up its advocacy in NSW calling for the Premier Gladys Berejiklian to extend restrictions until the outbreak is under control.

Yesterday the medical peak body wrote to the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian urging restrictions to be extended because the Delta strain is so transmissible and deadly.

AMA President, Dr Omar Khorshid that COVID was not a mild disease only affecting the sick and elderly and that as of July 7, there were eight people in their 30s in hospital.

“If we want to look after all Australians, return to the freedoms we enjoy, to reopen schools, businesses and borders, then we need to beat back this outbreak the only proven and possible way we have available to us – adhering to lockdowns until the outbreak is under control.”

“It has been a long and painful journey. But the end is in sight. We have two good vaccines, with significant increases in supply in coming months to vaccinate our entire population.

“All Governments and all Australians need to hold firm. Australia has led the world in showing how a population can largely eliminate the threat of COVID and keep our community safe, and we must do it again,” Dr Khorshid said.

The NSW and Federal Governments are facing growing pressure from business lobby groups to ease restrictions and develop a greater tolerance for the presence of some level of COVID-19 in the community.

Yesterday Prime Minister Scott Morrison released 300,000 more COVID-19 vaccinations to help speed up the vaccination process in NSW especially in the light of the growing spread of the Delta strain and especially in southwestern Sydney. He urged people in Western Sydney to bring forward their second COVID jab for those who have had the AstraZeneca vaccine and consider having it earlier in the 8 -12 weeks period following the first vaccination.

Along with the Premier, he urged the community to stay at home and to abide by the restrictions.

NSW Police will mount a heavy enforcement presence in southwestern Sydney from today with 100 extra police on duty for the special operation.

The impact of the lockdown extension continues to be felt across the business events industry and there are fears the current NSW outbreak may go on for some time with implications for the whole country. The cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix this week – which was set to be held in Melbourne in November – and the cancellation and deferment of major expos, live shows and entertainment continues to hit hotels, venues, suppliers, and organisers hard.