New Covid restrictions loom as NSW smashes daily case record

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·Assistant News Editor
·3-min read
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  • Dominic Perrottet
    Australian politician

NSW has notched another record daily tally of Covid infections with 38,625 new cases announced on Friday. 

The state's health department also announced 11 Covid-related deaths as hospital numbers continue to march upwards with more than 108,000 new infections reported in the past three days. 

There are 1734 people currently in hospital with Covid-19, nearly double the number from a week ago when 901 people were in hospital with Covid.

There are currently 134 people in the ICU, up from 79 a week ago. However that is still well below the 244 ICU admission seen during the peak of the Delta outbreak in NSW in September. 

NSW Health authorities conducted more than 112,000 Covid tests in the past 24-hour reporting period as the elevated positivity rate shows no signs up declining. 

Members of the public queue for a Covid-19 PCR test in Sydney. Some less happy than others. Source: AAP
Members of the public queue for a Covid-19 PCR test in Sydney. Some less happy than others. Source: AAP

Fresh Covid restrictions loom for NSW 

Premier Dominic Perrottet has been resistant to Covid restrictions of any kind, touting personal responsibility and declaring it was time for people of the state to "stand tall against the virus". 

However that looks set to change, with new measures to curb the rampant spread of Omicron expected to be introduced. 

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, NSW will move to shut nightclubs, ban singing and dancing in pubs and pause major events as the healthcare system and businesses across the state struggle. 

Major events would reportedly need to be assessed by NSW Health and face the prospect of being postponed.

Some elective surgery could also be put on hold as hospitals fill up – a move Mr Perrottet flagged on Thursday.

The changes were likely to be finalised on Friday, the publication reported. 

Mr Perrottet has already reintroduced a mask mandate and brought back QR codes after scrapping them upon taking the top job.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has flagged the potential for new controls. Source: AAP
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has flagged the potential for new controls. Source: AAP

Australian Medical Association NSW president Danielle McMullen said suspending surgeries was an avoidable move that "will have profound consequences for patients".

"Elective surgery shouldn't be a tap that government turns on and off to cover for serious cracks in our healthcare system," Dr McMullen said.

Victorians wake to new Covid density limits 

Spiralling numbers of Covid-19 cases has meant Victorians have woken on Friday to new density limits in hospitality venues.

The state recorded 21,728 new infections Friday, while another six people have died.

State hospitalisations have again increased to 644 people.

There are 58 active cases in intensive care and 24 on ventilation.

People queue at a walk-in Covid-19 testing site at in Melbourne on Wednesday. Source: AAP
People queue at a walk-in Covid-19 testing site at in Melbourne on Wednesday. Source: AAP

By 9am on Friday, 18 state-run PCR testing sites had reached capacity and closed, compared to 35 sites at the same time on Thursday, as new rapid antigen testing rules came into force overnight.

The RATs have at times proved difficult to find, but it's hoped their use will reduce pressure on the overloaded PCR testing system.

with AAP

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