COVID-19

New Delta strain as NSW clocks 646 cases

Chief health officer Kerry Chant announced the new figures and said the deaths included two women and nine men.She also revealed the details of a new Delta strain emerging in NSW.Genomic sequencing revealed the new variant, which she said was different to “current strains circulating in Sydney”.“There’s no indication that this new strain presents any differences regarding transmission, vaccine effectiveness or severity,” Dr Chant said.“There are currently eight cases identified with this particular Delta strain – seven people in one household and one additional case.“We’re undertaking some investigations into the source and how the transmission occurred and we’ll update you when any information is available”She also revealed a push to get the state to reach the 90 per cent vaccination milestone.“We have to set our sights to achieve well over 90 per cent double dose vaccination,” Dr Chant said.“And I am confident that we can achieve this ambitious target. “Please continue to get vaccinated and support others around you. We are looking forward to opening up on Monday, but it is important that we do it safely.”The daily case number is a slight climb on the previous few days but still well below the peak.The new figures come after the NSW Deputy Premier was forced to push back on claims that Dr Chant didn’t agree with the changes Dominic Perrottet made to the road map.Dr Chant was absent from the new premier’s press conference on Thursday where he announced several changes to the state’s reopening plan.The changes included expanding the number of people allowed to gather indoors and outdoors, moving the reopening of schools and also raising the cap on funerals and weddings.It has been reported that Dr Chant didn’t support the adjustments and her absence from the announcement added fuel to the fire.But Mr Toole hit back at those claims during an interview with Sunrise on Friday morning.He said “that wasn’t the case”.“It was endorsed by Kerry Chant and it was endorsed by NSW Health,” he said.“We had a crisis cabinet the day before and Kerry Chant was in that meeting. We don’t make decisions without the support of NSW Health and Dr Kerry Chant.”

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