In a cautionary tale about the need for young people to get vaccinated, a New South Wales paramedic has described visiting a western Sydney home where a distraught teenage boy feared he was responsible for giving his critically ill mother the Delta variant.
Intensive care paramedic Joe Ibrahim said he was called to a home in Sydney's west, the epicentre of the Delta outbreak, to back up an ambulance crew who were desperately trying to help a "deteriorating" single mother.
While the paramedics were giving the mother-of-two "critical treatment", Mr Ibrahim said her son admitted something which had crushed the emergency crew.
"That comment was, 'I think this is my fault. I think I have given mum COVID,'" Mr Ibrahim recalled.
"That stopped me in my tracks… and absolutely broke our hearts."
Mr Ibrahim said "unfortunately" the incident of a young person transmitting the virus to an older family member was not isolated.
Speaking alongside Premier Gladys Berejiklian at the state's daily coronavirus briefing, Mr Ibrahim also outlined other major challenges facing ambulance crews working on the Delta frontlines.
He described how paramedics were now performing CPR in full PPE, including gowns, gloves and goggles, and then going home to their own families to potentially expose them to the deadly virus.
"(The PPE) is to ensure that the virus is not getting into our lungs," he said.
"We wear this for the majority of our 12-hour shift and it takes its toll."
He said paramedics took on the physical and mental burden "to not only protect us and protect our family (but) to protect the broader community and your family".
He urged people to get vaccinated and follow health orders to restrict their movement.
NSW today recorded 1290 new coronavirus cases, with the majority in south-western and western Sydney.
A further four people have died.