Suburbs worst hit by virus outbreaks

The Sydney council of Waverley, which includes Bondi Beach, has more coronavirus cases that any other local government area in Australia.

The well-heeled region, in the city's eastern suburbs, has 105 recorded cases of COVID-19 which is approaching 10 per cent of all New South Wales' 1219 infections, based on yesterday's figures.

Waverley Council fenced off Bondi and other beaches last week after thousands flocked to sunbathe in the area.

A Waverley Council worker fences off Bondi Beach, one of the areas worst affected by coronavirus in Australia.
A Waverley Council worker fences off Bondi Beach, one of the areas worst affected by coronavirus in Australia.

Almost 3000 cases of COVID-19 have now been confirmed across Australia with 1405 in New South Wales, 520 in Victoria, 493 in Queensland, 231 in Western Australia, 235 in South Australia, 53 in the ACT, 47 in Tasmania and 12 in the Northern Territory.

Thirteen people have died - two in WA, seven in NSW, one in Queensland and three in Victoria.

Data from health departments across Australia's three largest states has shown that in NSW and Victoria council areas with higher income levels have been hardest hit by the virus.

The City of Sydney, which covers the CBD and inner suburbs, has recorded 69 cases. The Northern Beaches and Woollahra LGAs, both on the Pacific and brimming with ritzy homes, have recorded 68 and 66 cases respectively.

 

In Sydney, the eastern and northern beachside suburbs have had most COVID-19 infections. Picture: NSW Health
In Sydney, the eastern and northern beachside suburbs have had most COVID-19 infections. Picture: NSW Health

 

In Victoria, Stonnington Council is the most affected with 57 cases. Centred on Toorak and South Yarra, it is one of the richest LGAs in Australia.

Second is Mornington Peninsula with 36 cases, City of Melbourne with 32 and Boroondara - which includes Kew - with 29. The City of Melbourne's higher number of cases could also be partly due to the large number of students within the LGA's boundary.

Glen Eira, Port Phillip, Moreland and Greater Geelong councils all have more than 20 cases in Victoria.

 

Melbourne’s well heeled area of Stonnington is Victoria’s worst hit by COVID-19.
Melbourne’s well heeled area of Stonnington is Victoria’s worst hit by COVID-19.

 

Active COVID-19 Cases in VIC

Source: Vic DHSS


However, it's not just the most wealthy neighbourhoods that have seen COVID-19 cases. In NSW, the Central Coast, Canterbury-Bankstown, Sutherland Shire, Ryde, Randwick, Blacktown and Hornsby councils have all recorded more than 30 cases.

Several parishioners from a church that held a service in Ryde Civic Centre came down with COVID-19.

In Queensland, Brisbane and the Gold Coast have by far the largest number of cases.

Brisbane's metro north region topped the list with 144 cases followed by metro south with 123.

The Gold Coast has 91 and Sunshine Coast 56. West Moreton, which includes Ipswich, has 17 cases.

Despite some politicians calling for a border to be erected to shield North Queensland from COVID-19, it has already reached tropical parts of the state with 12 cases in and around Cairns and 11 in Townsville.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD

 

NEW SOUTH WALES CONCERNS

On Wednesday, the NSW Government produced a series of "heat maps" where there are concerns of local transmission.

This worries authorities as it could mean the virus has gone further than just infecting travellers coming back to Australia from overseas and their close contacts.

According to NSW Health there are "clusters" of cases in Wollongong, Cessnock in the Hunter Region, and the Sydney suburbs of Waverley, Ryde, Hornsby and Camperdown. The date of first onset ranges from February 24 to March 17 and all are identified as having "local transmission".

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Wednesday that people outside the cluster hot spots and LGAs with dozens of cases couldn't relax.

"Just because your community is not on the heat map we are putting up in terms of the number of cases, please don't assume that you might not have people walking around in your community who are suspected of having it or should be in isolation."

One of the key routes for infection has been through cruise ships. More than 120 passengers who sailed on the Ruby Princess, which docked in Sydney last week, have now been diagnosed with coronavirus.

On Thursday, Ms Berejiklian said police would ramp up their public presence and that no cruise ship passengers would be permitted to disembark in NSW until further notice.

She said protocols on disembarkation needed tightening and that she was working with the Australian Border Force on new measures.

The Premier said the Government was "looking very closely" at the impact of Monday's shutdowns on pubs, cinemas and churches - and if they weren't sufficient, further action would be taken.

The main criterion by which success would be judged was community-to-community COVID-19 transmissions, rather than total case numbers.

But chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said the full effect of the second stage of shutdowns - in place from Thursday - wouldn't be known for some days.

"It does take us at least seven and possibly 14 days to really get a picture … remember we also have to take out the fact we have returning travellers come in with disease," Dr Chant said on Thursday.

It comes as five people in NSW were handed infringement notices on Thursday for flouting coronavirus public health orders.

Police now have the power to hand out fines of $1000 to individuals and $5000 to businesses that breach public health orders or ministerial directions.

- with AAP

Originally published as Suburbs worst hit by virus outbreaks



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