NSW records 14 new coronavirus instances as Thai restaurant cluster in …


The number of Covid-19 cases linked to a western Sydney Thai restaurant has risen to 67 while dozens of people and several hospitality venues have been slapped with fines for breaching coronavirus safety measures.

New South Wales recorded 14 new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday, including six cases associated with the Thai Rock Wetherill Park restaurant cluster, with two of these also linked to Our Lady of Lebanon Church.

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NSW records 14 new coronavirus cases as Thai restaurant cluster in …

About coronavirus
Coronaviruses are a group of related RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans, these viruses cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal. Mild illnesses include some cases of the common cold (which is also caused by other viruses, predominantly rhinoviruses), while more lethal varieties can cause SARS, MERS, and COVID-19. Symptoms in other species vary: in chickens, they cause an upper respiratory tract disease, while in cows and pigs they cause diarrhea. There are as yet no vaccines or antiviral drugs to prevent or treat human coronavirus infections.
Coronaviruses constitute the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae, in the family Coronaviridae, order Nidovirales, and realm Riboviria. They are enveloped viruses with a positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome and a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry. The genome size of coronaviruses ranges from approximately 26 to 32 kilobases, one of the largest among RNA viruses. They have characteristic club-shaped spikes that project from their surface, which in electron micrographs create an image reminiscent of the solar corona, from which their name derives.

Four cases were associated with a cluster tied to a funeral service at St Brendan’s Catholic Church in Bankstown on 18 July.

NSW Health said isolation and testing was essential for everyone who attended the morning service, a burial at Rookwood later that day and Mount Pritchard’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel the next day, 19 July.

NSW records 14 new coronavirus cases as Thai restaurant cluster in …

Those at a 16 July service at St Brendan’s and at a Fairfield funeral home on 17 July must also heed the same advice to “isolate, get tested for Covid-19 regardless of any symptoms, and continue to self-isolate for 14 days even if the test is negative”, the health department said.

“If symptoms develop, get tested again,” Dr Jeremy McAnulty said on Sunday.

Testing clinics are available at GPs, hospitals, and in a carpark in Fisher Street, Cabramatta.

No new cases announced on Sunday were linked to the Crossroads Hotel or Batemans Bay Soldiers Club clusters.

Three of the new cases recorded were returned travellers in hotel quarantine while one case remained under investigation.

NSW Health later on Sunday urged anyone who attended the Thai Rock restaurant in Potts Point in Sydney’s east for more than two hours between 15 July and 25 July to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days since they were last there, regardless of symptoms.

The advice comes after a staff member at the restaurant – which has the same owners as Thai Rock in Wetherill Park – tested positive. It’s the second infection linked to the Potts Point restaurant after NSW Health previously announced a case who attended the venue on 17 July. Investigations have not yet identified links between the cases at the two Thai restaurants, NSW Health said in a statement.

On Sunday evening authorities also urged anyone who attended AN Restaurant in Bankstown on 23 July from 9am to 11am and Tan Viet Noodle House in Cabramatta on 22 July from 1pm to 2pm to monitor for symptoms after the restaurants were exposed to the virus.

Georges River Grammar School in Georges Hall was also been temporarily closed for cleaning after a child who attended the school tested positive. The child is linked with the funeral and church service clusters in south-western Sydney.

More than 25,100 tests were reported on Sunday morning after a record 30,535 were processed in the previous 24 hours.

The number of people being treated by NSW Health rose by two to 99. Four remained in intensive care, including one being ventilated and on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Advice to avoid all non-essential travel and gathering remained in effect.

“Of particular concern is transmission in venues such as hotels and restaurants, the gym and social gatherings,” the health department said in a statement.

“Consider using a mask in situations where you are unable to social distance, particularly indoors.”

Meanwhile, NSW police have fined 12 people $1,000 each after a music event in bushland near Jindabyne on Friday night.

A venue in Thredbo was on Saturday also found to be breaching several Covid-19 safety measures including exceeding capacity limits and the licensee was slapped with two $5,000 fines, police said in a statement on Sunday.

A travel company owner who organised for a large number of people to attend the venue was also fined $5,000.

Three separate fines were issued to hospitality venues in Port Macquarie, while four venues in the Illawarra region were fined for failing to comply with the safety orders.

NSW police said further fines were anticipated for other alleged breaches.

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