Australia's NSW at 'critical stage' in relation to coronavirus -premier

SYDNEY, March 24 (Reuters) - Australia's New South Wales state, of which Sydney is the capital, is at a "critical stage" in relation to the coronavirus pandemic after a spike in confirmed cases overnight, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Tuesday.

"We need to make sure everybody who's in self-isolation stays in self-isolation. We are ramping up our compliance," she told reporters. "There are harsh penalties and we'll enforce that. We have to take this seriously."

NSW now has more than 800 COVID-19 cases, an increase of 149 from Monday. The total number of cases across Australia has surpassed 1,700.

(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Chris Reese)