NSW Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward and NSW Health’s Dr Marianne Gale addressed multicultural media on Wednesday.
They cited recent modelling from the Burnett Institute in yet another effort to ease the community’s vaccine hesitancy.
“The institute found that Sydney’s lockdown and the vaccine rollout together have prevented almost 5000 deaths and almost half a million COVID-19 infections,” Ward said in a response to a question from the Greek Herald.
“The death toll in those hotspots could have been as high as 5,800 according to that modelling.”
“You only need to look at the modelling … which shows what would have happened if there hadn’t been that vaccination rollout and if there hadn’t been those restrictions put in place.”
Dr Gale pointed to aged care facilities to reemphasise the efficacy the COVID-19 vaccine and lockdowns have had in stopping the spread.
“As we will have seen this year, we haven’t seen as many cases and severe outcomes including death in older people in aged care facilities and a big part of that is because many people in age care facilities have been vaccinated in these months before [the Delta variant] hit us.”
“The alternative [is] if we didn’t have such good coverage of vaccination in aged care facilities, potentially what we would have seen is something far worse with this Delta outbreak.”
“The question to ask ourselves and the thing to compare [it] against is, ‘What would have happened if these things were not in place?’.”
“So, it is working the measures are working, this delta variant is just very transmissible.”
About 685 deaths have occurred in Australia’s aged care facilities due to COVID-19 and account for 75 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths, according to the Guardian, as of at least June.
Dr Gale sought to ease parents’ concerns about the staggered return to face-to-face learning from October 25.
“…a report released from the [NCIRS] … [shows] that, yes, with Delta we are seeing more cases in younger people, but the majority of young people have very mild disease or are asymptomatic.
“I think clearly the transmission in young people is a concern, however, the majority of disease is mild [sic].”
The COVID-19 press conferences are now interpreted live in Modern Greek.