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Sydney Covid victim reportedly mother of removalists who travelled to regional NSW while positive | New South Wales

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A woman in her 50s from south-western Sydney has died of Covid with police investigating what is the fifth death linked to the current Delta outbreak.

The death was announced on Monday afternoon after emergency services discovered her body earlier in the day when attending a home in Green Valley. Officers had responded to reports of a “concern for welfare”.

A NSW police spokesperson said “an investigation has commenced and a report will be prepared for the coroner”.

The NSW health department extended “its sincere sympathy to her family and friends”.

“NSW Health today sadly reports the death of a woman in her 50s who was a confirmed Covid-19 case,” a spokesperson said. “She was a resident of south-western Sydney and a close contact of a Covid case.”

Sydney media reported the woman was the mother of two of a group of removalists who allegedly travelled to Molong in the state’s central west for work after one had initially tested positive to Covid. The men were escorted back to Sydney.

NSW police said they spoke with four men – one aged 21, two aged 27, and a 49-year-old – in Molong on Friday afternoon after receiving information the removalists had travelled there from Sydney.

“It will be alleged three of the men travelled to Molong after being notified they had tested positive to Covid-19,” a police spokesperson said on Saturday. “Police escorted all the men and their vehicles back to greater Sydney where they have been instructed to isolate for 14 days.”

The younger three men were issued court attendance notices for allegedly not complying with health orders.

The exact circumstances surrounding the woman’s death remain unclear.

One of the removalists posted a picture of his late mother on his Facebook page on Monday prompting a flood of condolences from friends and family

“May God have mercy on her, my brother, and may her place be in heaven,” one person wrote in Arabic.

In a separate post, the partner of one of the removalists wrote a heartfelt farewell to the woman. “Mother, my love, you are my life, my comfort and forgiveness, you have left me,” she wrote in Arabic.

The Liverpool mayor, Wendy Waller, said it was a “tragedy” the woman had died and her death would “hit a lot of people very hard” in the close community.

“I would like to extend my condolences to the woman’s family and loved ones,” Waller said.

“People throughout the south-west are under a lot of pressure at the moment and are no doubt feeling the strain. The people of Liverpool by and large want to do the right thing. There can be challenges when complicated advice is not translated quickly into emerging languages.”

NSW health authorities earlier on Monday announced 98 new locally-acquired cases of Covid recorded from 75,845 tests taken in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday. As many as 44 of the new cases were infectious while in the community.

The NSW chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said vaccinating children would play “a key role” in the vaccine rollout in the state because of the heightened infectiousness among children of the Delta variant. She also said booster vaccinations would be needed in 2022.

The NSW premier, Gladys Berejiklian, reiterated that lowering the number of cases infectious in the community was “the number we are really keen to nudge” for the lockdown to be lifted.

“We need to get ahead of that number in order to reduce the cases in the community and the closer we get that number to zero, the sooner we can end the lockdown,” Berejiklian said.

The premier also called for those observing Eid al-Adha to celebrate in line with the lockdown restrictions. “We need families to stay in their family home and not move from household to household,” she said.

There have been 1,340 cases linked to greater Sydney’s current outbreak since 16 June. There are 82 people with Covid-19 currently in hospital, with 24 in intensive care, seven of whom are on a ventilator.

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