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Pendle Hill coronavirus superspreader wake: 45 out of 50 attendees catch the virus

Forty-five out of 50 attendees at the western Sydney 'superspreader' wake have now tested positive for Covid, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed on Wednesday.  

The July 19 gathering was held at a small, three-bedroom home in Pendle Hill to mourn the suicide death of a 27-year-old man two days earlier. 

The young man's grandmother, 85, died at the property on Monday afternoon after testing positive to the virus.

Ms Berejiklian revealed that 90 per cent of people present at the wake had caught the virus during her daily press conference on Wednesday. 

The Premier said the example shows that while 'you might think you are doing your grandmother or your aunt a favour by dropping in and giving them food, or going into to say hello .... that could be a death sentence.

'Do not do it.'  

The wake has now been linked to six cases at a unit block in Blacktown, where residents are under police guard for a fortnight, as all have been deemed close contacts.    

A wake was held at this Pendle Hill home on July 19, two days after the tragic death of a 27-year-old man. It became a superspreader event with 45 of 50 attendees testing positive to the virus

Emergency personnel in Hazmat suits are seen outside the property where the 85-year-old died of Covid on Monday afternoon. The woman had reportedly declined to be taken to hospital

Boxes of what appeared to be medical supplies were strewn out the front of the property in the wake of the incident

Given the circumstances, no attendee has yet been fined by the NSW Police Force, Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys confirmed on Tuesday. 

A close relative told Daily Mail Australia that there was no formal planning for a wake. 'It wasn't a gathering, no. We are a big family, that's all,' they said.  

Neighbour Daryl Sadler told the Parramatta Advertiser he had seen the family grieving out the front following the young man's death 10 days ago. 

'They were out here praying on the ground, one of them was kicking the guy's car in,' Mr Sadler was quoted telling the Advertiser. 

'I heard the father wailing and I saw the young guy taking his clothes off.' 

NSW authorities have pointed to the superspreader incident as an example of why it had proved so difficult to quash an outbreak of Covid's Delta variant, with households mixing in the city's west and south-west being one of the main drivers. 

On Saturday, deputy chief health officer Dr Jeremy McNulty said authorities were 'concerned' about the spread at the wake.

Then, 28 attendees at the wake had tested positive - a number which has since surged.  

'It's an example of how families coming together, even in tragic times when you're naturally grieving, can be a risk,' Dr McNulty said.

'Covid can easily take hold and spread out to their households and then further afield.'  

A block of apartments in nearby Blacktown where six people tested positive has been linked to the superspreader wake in Pendle Hill

Cleaners in Hazmat suits arrive at the locked down apartment complex on Devitt St on Tuesday morning

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NSW reported 177 new cases on Wednesday - the highest of this outbreak so far - with 60 of the cases out in the community while infectious.  

At the state government's daily press updates this week, reporters have been told the spread is largely being seen between workplaces and households. 

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she hoped to announce as early of Wednesday the next steps in greater Sydney's five week lockdown. 

Ms Berejiklian called on Sydneysiders to get vaccinated against the virus as she rolled out a new pilot program to make the jabs available at the state's chemists and pharmacies. 

From this week, chemists can administer the AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab to all NSW residents over the age of 40 as part of a pilot program to boost vaccination rates across the state. 

Tuesday's increase in cases is the largest in Sydney's latest outbreak and the highest daily rise since April 2020

Sydneysiders walking through the city on Monday as the Delta Covid-19 outbreak continues to grow

'My message to everybody is please come forward and get the vaccine,' Ms Berejiklian said.

'Not only are you protecting yourself but you’re protecting those closest to you.'

The announcement came after it emerged authorities could split Sydney in half to contain the outbreak by tightening lockdowns in the virus-ravaged south-west and west while easing restrictions elsewhere to allow businesses to reopen.

The NSW government held a five-hour crisis cabinet meeting on Monday to decide whether to strengthen restrictions only in areas hit hardest by the virus - such as Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool.

There were also conversations about whether to ease public health orders for the Northern Beaches, Wollongong and Shellharbour - all of which have not seen any new cases in about a month.

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