NSW records 136 cases today as Premier Gladys Berejiklian tightens Sydney lockdown

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian

Workers will not be allowed to leave some Sydney communities unless they are essential workers as the state government works to tighten its COVID lockdown and halt the leak of Delta variant cases into the community.

Blacktown and Cumberland residents were informed of the rules as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced 136 cases of local transmission in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday.

She said 53 of those were infectious in community, and another death had been recorded overnight.

The death was an 89-year-old man but no further details would be released until family are informed, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

"There is no doubt the numbers are not going in the direction we were hoping they would at this stage, and it is apparent that we won't be close to zero by Friday," Ms Berejiklian said.

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Dr Chant said "urgent additional measures" were required given that people in those areas were required to work to keep the country going, urging a redirection" of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccination efforts to southwestern Sydney.

"What i am urging is that our vaccination efforts are re-focused on those affected LGAs," Dr Chant said.

"The group that keeps society going are the workers in this part of Sydney.

"Under 40s would not be eligible for vaccination under Pfizer ... [vaccinating them faster] is a strategy we need to put in place."

Ms Berejiklian said the state needed "at least more first doses of Pfizer" in some of the hot spots, and would lobby national cabinet for a change in focus.

She said many of the communities battling rising case numbers had younger populations, which meant they were not recommended to receive AstraZeneca without discussing it with a doctor under the health advice.

"What has become apparent in the last two weeks is that almost no-one with two doses of the vaccine is having a serious illness as a result of the virus," she said.

"Both vaccines are working, but we need to get more into arms."