NSW records 20 Covid deaths as case numbers DROP again to 48,768 and Victoria suffers 23 deaths and 25,526 new infections
- Saturday’s figures are a decrease compared to the 63,018 infections on Friday
- Hospital admissions around NSW increased slightly at 2,576 from 2,525
- Also more Victorians in hospital than on Friday, with 115 residents in IC
- NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant previously said half the state would contract the virus
New South Wales has recorded another decline in Covid cases with 48,768 new infections and 20 deaths, while Victoria’s number has risen by 25,526 and 23 lives have been lost.
Saturday’s numbers in NSW are down from 63,018 cases announced on Friday, with 21,478 cases coming from rapid antigen testing.
Hospital admissions are up slightly with 2,576 patients receiving care around NSW, a jump from 2,525. The ICU rates are 193, up from nine.
There are 1,054 Victorians hospitalized with the virus, up from 976, and 115 of them are in the ICU.
It comes after NSW’s Chief Health Officer, Dr. Kerry Chant, predicted that half of the population could get Covid during the current wave.
New South Wales has recorded another drop in Covid cases with 48,768 new infections and 20 deaths
dr. Chant predicted on Friday that as many as four million state residents — 50 percent of the population — would be infected.
Her comments mark the first time a high-profile official has given a public estimate of the scale of the outbreak raging along Australia’s east coast.
The respected doctor said not all of those predicted infections would be symptomatic. Many people may not even know they are infected.
“There will still be people who have not experienced or been exposed to Omicron,” said Dr Chant.
A nearly empty street in Bondi is seen as thousands test positive for Covid around NSW
Infectious disease expert Professor Robert Booy said both states had nearly reached their peak of Omicron cases.
“We’re getting close to the top of our swing in terms of numbers in NSW and Victoria, we’re likely to peak in one to two weeks,” he told The Today Show.
“But the hospitalizations will peak in February as they come about two weeks after the cases.”
Meanwhile, new models released Friday by NSW Health show that there are currently drastically fewer hospitalizations than scenarios officials had previously predicted.
The state’s deputy health secretary said pressure on hospitals is likely to continue in the coming weeks but could ease by the end of next week.
dr. Chant also revealed that health authorities would gradually phase out the term “close contact” and shift their focus to vulnerable residents.
The health department has released a detailed list of critical workers bosses may consider exempt from isolation, even if they are family contacts of a positive Covid case.
Workers who show no symptoms and are “critical” according to employers will not have to go into quarantine under a series of new rules agreed by the national cabinet this week.
NSW’s top doctor warned that half of the state’s population would catch the virus (shopper in Sydney’s CBD pictured)