Covid cases, deaths dip amid optimism Omicron has peaked

·News Reporter
·3-min read

NSW has recorded more than 29,000 new cases of coronavirus and 17 Covid-related deaths.

The health department on Monday morning said 29,504 new cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.

There are 12 more people requiring intensive care taking the total in ICU wards to 203. A total of 2776 people are in hospital with Covid-19 in NSW, which is up 126 from the 24 hours prior.

Members of the public queue for a coronavirus PCR test at a doctor’s surgery in Sydney.
People line up for coronavirus PCR testing in Sydney. Source: AAP

Daily cases, at least at this stage, appear to have dropped in NSW. The state recorded more than 34,000 cases on Sunday.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told ABC radio on Monday morning following a briefing with the country’s chief medical officer that the Omicron wave may have reached its peak in parts of the country.

"Whilst he’s [CMO] saying it’s too early to call, certainly in NSW and the ACT there are signs of plateauing. We’ll wait for more data in Victoria," Mr Hunt said.

“That is playing itself through in terms of the numbers of serious illness [in hospital] as well as the number of those being diagnosed.

“It’s too early to make a definitive call, but on the advice of the CMO literally just minutes ago, his advice to me was there are signs of a plateau.”

He told reporters on Sunday from Canberra that "these jurisdictions have so far significantly undershot the hospitalisation, ICU and ventilation predictions that were made at the outset".

However, it is likely hospitalisation and ICU figures will drop slower than daily case numbers as people are both admitted and leave hospital. Hospitalisation figures also include people hospitalised with and not necessarily for coronavirus.

Former Deputy Chief Health Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth told 2GB earlier this month he believes Covid-19 will become endemic in Australia in 2022.

NSW Police will on Wednesday officially begin enforcing a $1000 fine for people who fail to report rapid results, although it remains to be seen how they will do so in practice.

Victoria records more than 22,000 new coronavirus cases

Victoria has recorded 22,429 new Covid-19 cases and six deaths as authorities begin handing out millions of rapid antigen tests to essential workers and vulnerable people. It's a drop from the 28,128 cases recorded on Sunday.

The new infections confirmed by the health department on Monday include 12,059 from PCR tests and 10,370 from RATs.

It brings the total number of active cases in the state to 245,040, including a record 1229 patients in hospital.

People walk on a street in Melbourne.
Victoria has also seen a drop in coronavirus cases with hope Omicron has peaked. Source: Getty Images

Monday's patient number is a 115 increase on the 1114 reported on Sunday.

The number of people in ICU has grown by seven to 129 with 38 on ventilation, three more than the previous day.

The figures come as the state government on Sunday received three million of the 44 million RATs it ordered.

Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters the three million tests will be distributed to essential workers in health and aged care, disability and emergency sectors.

Victorians with pre-existing conditions, which make them susceptible to severe illness, will also be prioritised for a RAT.

Sixty community and multi-faith organisations will also receive a share of the tests.

The state will also on Monday begin transferring the first of up to 300 patients to two new medi-hotels to free up hospital beds.

Two Melbourne quarantine hotels - Pullman on Swanston and Mantra in Epping - have been transformed into medical facilities to treat COVID-19 patients.

with AAP

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