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What an epidemiologist says is the ‘most concerning thing’ about the Sydney outbreak

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Article image for What an epidemiologist says is the ‘most concerning thing’ about the Sydney outbreak

A New South Wales epidemiologist says the possibility that Sydneysiders may have travelled interstate and could spark COVID-19 outbreaks in other states is “the most concerning thing” about the Sydney coronavirus cluster.

Infectious diseases expert from the University of NSW, Marylouise McLaws, says there’s a risk of outbreaks in Queensland and Victoria.

“The most concerning thing about this whole outbreak is that we don’t know how far people have travelled, because Australians like to leave home in December to enjoy themselves, and they’ve made plans,” she told Jo Hall, filling in for Dee Dee.

Professor McLaws says Christmas day looms as a “behaviour accelerant to helping this virus jump from one person to the next”.

She has urged Sydneysiders not to gather in large numbers to celebrate the holiday.

“People should keep their celebration just to … a very tight group and cancel New Year’s Eve,” she said.

“It’s up to the public to take on board these preventive measures because currently our authorities are being fairly soft and are making recommendations rather than making things mandatory.”

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