New South Wales has reported 345 new locally transmitted cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, at least 60 of whom had been infectious in the community.
Two men in their 90s who had tested positive for Covid died in the Australian state overnight. One of the men had one shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the other had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
A record of nearly 152,000 Covid tests were carried out in NSW in the 24-hour reporting period.
Victoria reported 21 new cases of Covid-19 acquired in the state on Thursday, of which 17 were linked to current outbreaks in the Australian state, and four were still being investigated.
Fifteen of the new cases had been in isolation throughout their infectious period, the Victoria Department of Health said.
On Wednesday night, Victorian police arrested 73 people who gathered in central Melbourne in breach of health directions, protesting against the extension of the city’s Covid-19 lockdown.
On Wednesday, Victoria reported 20 new local cases of Covid-19, and Premier Daniel Andrews announced the initial one-week lockdown would be extended for at least another week in Melbourne.
Police appeared to outnumber protesters on Wednesday night, apparently taking no chances after hundreds marched through Melbourne’s CBD last Thursday evening to oppose the introduction of the lockdown.
Most of the arrests related to breaches of directions from the Chief Health Officer, with one arrest for offensive language, and three people were arrested on outstanding warrants, police said.
In New South Wales, the Australian state currently hardest hit by Covid, 344 new locally acquired cases were reported on Wednesday, along with the deaths of two men who were infected with the virus.
A crisis cabinet meeting in NSW on Wednesday is understood to have agreed to three major changes to try to strengthen public health orders in the state, to come into force by the end of the week.
Queensland reported 10 new locally acquired cases on Thursday. All were linked to the Indooroopilly cluster and were in home quarantine, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said at a briefing.
It was “fantastic news,” she said.
The increase had been expected as more than 15,300 contacts isolating at home had day 10 and 11 tests, she said. Similar numbers were expected in the next day or two as people had day 12 tests.