As some Australian states appear to be getting past the biggest peak of Omicron, officials continue to call for people to take up booster vaccinations.
Daily updates by state:
- NSW: 17,316 new cases, 2,722 people in hospital, 181 in ICU, 29 deaths
- VIC: 13,755 new cases, 1057 people in hospital, 117 in ICU, 15 deaths
- QLD: 11,600 new cases, 829 people in hospital, 48 in ICU, 15 deaths
- SA: 1953 new cases, 288 people in hospital, 27 in ICU
- TAS: 726 new cases, 24 people in hospital
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant called on older residents and those with underlying health issues to get the booster shot.
She said during this morning’s press conference that a booster shot was the best measure you could take to protect yourself.
“I particularly want to see anyone with chronic underlying health conditions, anyone over 65, get vaccinated now,” she said.
The NSW Premier said any suggestion of problems with booster shot availability in the state was not true.
“At the moment we have capacity for an additional 100,000 every week for people to come forward and get a booster shot.”
Victoria recorded 15 more Covid-19 patient deaths.
The number of people in hospital after contracting the illness sits at 1057, down from 1089 recorded on Wednesday. Of those, 117 were in intensive care units and 40 on ventilators.
There were 13,755 new infections officially reported, bringing the number of active cases to 119,153.
Health authorities and medical experts said this week it was likely the state had already reached its Omicron peak. The actual number of cases in the community is likely higher than the official tally, but the seven-day average for new infections has been falling steadily since hitting a high of around 40,000 on 14 January.
Turnaround times for tests had improved dramatically in recent days, following long delays at the start of the month. Naomi Bromley from the Department of Health said 93 percent of PCR tests were being returned within one day.
About 35 percent of Victorian adults have received three doses of a Covid-19 vaccine. More than 2.3 million Victorians are now eligible to receive their booster dose. There are 219,000 vaccination bookings available in the next month for people aged over 12 through state sites for first, second and third doses.
Premier Daniel Andrews had no further update for the resumption of elective surgery, and said it had been an incredibly difficult decision to cancel services.
Victoria put a freeze on elective surgeries on 5 January in response to growing hospital workloads. Figures released this week showed the number of Australians waiting more than a year for elective surgery had tripled.
Queensland recorded another 15 deaths with Covid-19, all of them people aged from their 60s to their 90s.
There were 11,600 new coronavirus cases detected in the state in the latest reporting period.
Of 829 Covid-19 patients in hospital, 49 were in intensive care, with 15 on ventilators.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said there were 69,350 active cases in the state.
Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said of the 15 people who died, two were in their 60s, nine in their 80s and four in their 90s.
Four were unvaccinated, four had received their first dose, five were double dosed and only two had received their booster shots.
Dr Gerrard said the hospitalisation rate in the state was improving. He said the reason the state had coped with the Omicron strain so well was because the vaccination rate was high when the state opened its borders.
Queensland has 89.31 per cent of people aged 16 and over who are double vaccinated.