NSW Sets Alarming National Record With 5712 New Cases
NCA Newswire/Flavio Brancaleone
New South Wales infections take national records to a whole new level with 5715 new infections reported on Thursday, and one Covid-related death.
Today's reported infections are an increase of 1,952 compared to yesterday's record tally.
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The new cases were detected from a massive 160,471 swabs collected on Wednesday, in the lead-up to festive celebrations.
There are currently 302 people in hospital, while 40 of those are in ICU.
As of Thursday, more than 93 per cent of eligible people aged over 16 are now fully vaccinated, while 94.9 per cent have received their first dose.
Meanwhile, mounting calls to reinstate measures ahead of the festive season continue, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison discouraging the move after yesterday’s emergency Cabinet meeting.
The PM instead, encouraged Australians to take personal responsibility, as opposed to following recommendations for health experts to reinstate mandatory face masks in a bid to curb the escalating spread of Omicron.
Mr Morrison instead recommended people wear masks indoors at their own discretion, but a mandate was not necessary.
"In the same way as we go into the summer season, people will be slapping on the hat and slapping on the sunscreen — there's no rule or requirement to do that, but that's strongly recommended health advice — it's in the same category," he said.
"What matters is people wear them, not whether they get fined or not."
- Mr Morrison
Yet, some from eminent virology, infectious diseases and epidemiology experts believe that additional measure, like face masks are essential.
In the meantime, the state government has announced two major changes in response to the developing pandemic.
Free rapid antigen tests will be posted to NSW residents’ homes, while QR code check-ins will be once more mandated across all hospitality and retail settings.
Premier Dominic Perrottet said the rapid antigen home testing kits will also be made available at pharmacies and GP clinics.
“Providing rapid-antigen testing kits for those who want to do the right thing will help take the pressure of our testing clinics, while giving people confidence to get on with their lives,” he said.
“This will also help people monitor their own symptoms and go about their daily activities in a responsible manner helping protect their themselves, their families and the community.”
- Premier Perrottet
Meantime, reinstating venue check-ins aims to help contact tracers and visitors to an exposure site.
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