The chairperson of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council says the coronavirus situation in western NSW is “extremely concerning” as the state records another 452 cases.
New cases have emerged in Dubbo, Bourke and Broken Hill overnight, with concerns an infectious person visited the majority-Aboriginal community of Wilcannia as well.
The ABC reports two new cases have also been identified in Narromine and Gilgandra but were in isolation and not infectious in the community and will be included in Tuesday’s numbers.
Land council chair and representative for the north-western region of NSW, Anne Dennis, says people in the community are anxious.
“Elders are really frightened. Particularly when we’ve got overcrowding in houses and a lack of housing accommodation in community. Where do people go to isolate and how are they supported?”
Nationally 15 per cent of Indigenous people aged over 16 are fully vaccinated, a significant way behind the 25 per cent of the general population who have received both jabs.
That’s despite Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people being identified as a priority group in the vaccine rollout.
Thousands of extra doses of Pfizer have been delivered to regional NSW Aboriginal health services in an effort to speed up the vaccine uptake in areas now affected by coronavirus.
Ms Dennis said a pop-up vaccine clinic on Friday in Walgett was “very successful” and hopes similar methods can be used to urgently vaccinate Indigenous people in western NSW.