Sydney buyer stabbed in argument over masks

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A 25-year-old man will face court on charges of assaulting a security guard at the Sydney shopping center and then stabbing a passer-by, after the woman he was with was asked to wear a mask.

The man was at the North West Windsor Mall on Tuesday night with a woman and two children when the guard asked the woman to put on a mask.

Police learned that he approached the 59-year-old guard shortly after and punched him several times.

A 53-year-old man intervened and the young man stabbed him in the leg, police said.

The client and the guard detained the man until the police arrived.

The case was adjourned until January 25 after the man failed to appear at the local Penrith court on Wednesday and did not apply for bail.

NSW had a new case of the locally acquired coronavirus on Wednesday, as authorities warned that viral restrictions – including mandatory masks in indoor public spaces such as shopping malls – were likely to last for weeks.

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NSW authorities say masks will likely remain mandatory for weeks. Photo: Getty

Health official Kerry Chant said it would likely take up to four weeks to ‘clean up’ Sydney’s Berala and Avalon clusters.

“The more we can adopt these COVID-safe practices, these practices of wearing masks indoors, being tested as soon as possible with as few symptoms as possible, maintaining that physical distance, all of that will mean that even though we don’t recognize where it’s less likely to pass to multiple people, ”she said.

“It’s almost time to redouble our efforts as we try not to achieve community transmission as soon as possible.”

There were more than 20,600 COVID tests in New South Wales during the 24-hour benchmark. That’s far more than Monday’s figure, which prompted authorities to advocate for more people to get tested.

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Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian also urged residents to “stay alert”.

“We don’t want to see super-seeding events, we don’t want to see super-broadcast events,” she said.

“We don’t want an occasion where someone who may not know they have the virus unintentionally passes it on.”

The only case within 24 hours to 8 p.m. Tuesday was a child who is close contact with a previously confirmed case linked to the Berala cluster in western Sydney. It now has 28 people.

Six cases of COVID-19 have been discovered in the quarantine of NSW hotels.

Ms Berejiklian also confirmed that two mysterious cases that emerged in Sydney this week – a COVID-positive man, who presented to Mount Druitt Hospital with respiratory symptoms, and his partner – are linked to the Berala cluster.

She also supported her state’s contact tracing teams, saying their work enabled the government to make decisions that did not impose “unnecessary burdens” on residents, such as maintaining inter-state borders.

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“We have always said in New South Wales – and we adhere to this policy – that we don’t want our citizens to put up with extra rules one more day than necessary,” she said.

“If the health advice suggests that a day is a special time to ease restrictions, of course we will.

NSW has a COVID patient on a ventilator in intensive care.

Public health alerts remain for dozens of hot spots, including a shopping center in Warriewood, a post office in Hurlstone Park and a workers’ club in Blacktown.

A casual contact alert was issued Tuesday evening for The Groomsmen Barber Shop inside the Warriewood Mall.

Meanwhile, ACT and the Northern Territory have lifted travel restrictions for residents of the Central Coast, Wollongong and parts of greater Sydney.

-with AAP

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