NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has described the situation in Sydney’s south-west as “a national emergency”, as the state records 136 new cases – 53 of which were infectious while in the community. Fuckity fucking fuck.

“There is no doubt that the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage,” Berejiklian said.

“It is fairly apparent that we will not be close to zero next Friday.”

Next Friday (July 30) is when the lockdown is scheduled to lift, but so far we have no dates for how long it will be extended – just that it almost certainly will be.

Berejiklian said that Dr Kerry Chant advised at a crisis cabinet meeting this morning that the situation in NSW is regarded as a national emergency, and said that the Federal Government would respond accordingly.

“For that purpose and for that reason, the New South Wales government will be taking action in relation to that,” she said.

“First and foremost, the local government areas of both Cumberland and Blacktown local government areas, will also be subject to workers are not being allowed to leave those communities unless the health and emergency workers were on the authorised list of workers.

“The list for what is critical, already exists, so we ask people to look at that list to make sure they do not leave the local government area which is defined by the suburbs in which they live unless they work in health, aged care, or are on that authorised list which already exists.”

Here’s the critical list of workers, btw.

In addition to the 136 new cases, there was tragically one death, Berejiklian confirmed. It happened after the 8pm cut off last night, so they’re waiting to ensure the family is informed before providing more details.

The NSW Government is now calling for a refocus on the national vaccination strategy, lobbying the Federal Government for more Pfizer doses specifically. It’s in response to the large number of young people and essential workers in the south-western Sydney suburbs where the virus is spreading.

“We have a micro plan for how we will get not only more doses of AstraZeneca in arms, but we also have to acknowledge that that is a very young population in those communities, and we need at least more first doses of Pfizer,” Berejiklian said.

Chant reiterated those points.

“The group of workers that keep the society going is this group of workers in the 20 to 49 year old age group in south western Sydney,” she said.

“Under 40s would not have been routinely eligible for vaccination, in terms of Pfizer. And what I’ve recommended to government is we urgently do mass vaccination of those workers to stem the transmission risk. We know the vaccines do that because they reduce the risk. If you’re vaccinated, even one dose, it reduces your risk of onward transmission.”

Right now, most people under 40 are not eligible for the Pfizer vaccine, which is the preferred vaccine of choice for young people. However, the AstraZeneca vaccine is available to some young people, and if you’re in a hotspot zone, it’s worth remembering that the best vaccine is the one that’s available. If you’ve got questions about getting the AZ now or waiting for the Pfizer, then here’s the explainer for you.