Millions of Australians are at risk of contracting Covid-19 during the fifth wave of the coronavirus as vaccination numbers drop ahead of winter.
The latest health records show 16.6 million Australians have not had a Covid-19 booster in more than six months, as cases had increased by 28 per cent over the past month.
It’s estimated the number of people getting vaccinated has fallen by 10,000 per week over the past three weeks, leaving health officials worried ahead of the colder months.
Australia recorded 37,448 new cases of the virus in the week until June 2, with the majority of those being recorded in NSW and Victoria.
An average of 5517 new cases were recorded across the country each day (until May 30), down 6.2 per cent from the week before.
NSW recorded the highest number of new cases in the past week, with 13,480 people coming down with Covid-19 in the week leading up to June 2.
More than 557,000 reported Covid cases nationally have been recorded in 2023, while more than 2,600 deaths were reported.
New South Wales lso had the highest number of deaths and hospitalisations, with 64 lives lost, 1459 people in hospital and 34 in intensive care.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant again reiterated that people with symptoms should stay at home to avoid spreading the virus.
“Please don’t spread around your germs. Even if you have rapid antigen tests that are negative, please just stay at home,” she said.
“Please just do those simple measures that we’ve put in place for the past few years that we’ve learned so well as a community.”
Thousands of people in Victoria also contracted the virus over the past week, with 8669 new cases, a decrease of 15 per cent after 10,642 cases were recorded the week prior.
There are now 464 Victorians in hospital with Covid-19, an increase of 12 per cent from last week.
The state also experienced a jump in the number of deaths with 50 people dying after contracting the virus – an average of seven deaths a day.
“This represents an almost 18 per cent increase when compared to the same period the previous month,” a Victorian Health spokesman said.
Queensland recorded 777 average daily cases as of May 30, an increase from an average of 757 the week before.
The state also recorded two deaths from May 15, and 321 patients in hospital, seven of whom are in ICU.
South Australia had 3728 new cases in the week up to June 2, including 36 new deaths and 198 people in hospital.
There were 3767 new cases of the virus in Western Australia, down from 4486 cases the week before.
There were also 15 deaths and 231 people hospitalised.
The Northern Territory recorded 178 new cases this week, a slight drop from 203 the week before.
There were no new deaths recorded and nine patients are in hospital.
The onset of winter has led to health authorities going ramping up warnings about the importance of both the flu and Covid vaccination.
“It is absolutely critical that people understand that Covid is still out and about,” NSW Health Minister Ryan Park said.
“The reality is Covid is still out and about among our community.”
Six steps to avoid infection:
– Wear a mask
– Get a booster vaccination
– Let in fresh air
– Get tested if symptoms arise
– Stay at home if you test positive to Covid
– Talk to a doctor