NSW has recorded over 45,000 new Covid-19 cases and nine new Covid related deaths, as the state wakes up to new restrictions.
On Saturday, 45,098 new cases were announced after 116,915 PCR tests were carried out.
Next week, NSW will roll out a registration system so people can report their positive rapid antigen test results.
The state's Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said on Friday current figures were an underestimate, given the high spread in the community, difficulty accessing rapid antigen tests and the expected number of asymptomatic cases.
Case totals in coming days are likely to only capture part of the story.
Authorities reported the deaths of four women and five men, aged in their 50s, 70s and 90s.
All but one lived in Sydney. The other was from Newcastle.
There are currently 1,795 people in hospital in NSW, with 145 of them in the ICU.
In NSW, 93.7 per cent of people aged over 16 are double-vaccinated, while 78.1 per cent of people aged 12 to 15-years have had two doses of a Covid vaccine.
NSW premier announces new restrictions
On Friday, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet announced new restrictions would be brought in to try and flatten the curve.
From Saturday, singing and dancing is no longer permitted at indoor venues and non-urgent elective surgery will be suspended until mid-February.
Mr Perrottet defended the easing of restrictions in December, only for the to be reintroduced later.
Easing the rules was the right call, he said at the time, adding that the Omicron variant required a different response.
"It is much, much less severe, and the approach we've taken is the right approach," the premier said.
"Clearly in the middle of a pandemic, when cases arise, that will dampen confidence but ultimately, the alternative is to lock down."
Chris Minns, the state opposition leader criticised Mr Perrottet's comments.
"If that's his idea of success, I'd hate to hear what his idea of failure is," he told reporters on Friday.
Victoria records more than 50,000 cases
Victoria has surpassed NSW's daily total of infections, recording over 51,000 new Covid cases.
On Saturday, there were 51,356 new Covid cases, of which, 26,428 were identified through rapid antigen tests and 24,928 through PCR tests.
Victoria's health department said most people with a positive rapid test got the result earlier in the week and reported it when the webform which opened on Friday.
Victoria also recorded nine Covid-related deaths. There are now 644 Covid patients in the hospital, 106 people in the ICU and 24 people on a ventilator.
Former PM tests positive
On Saturday, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on Twitter he had tested positive for Covid-19.
"Like hundreds of thousands of other Australians I have tested positive for covid," he said.
Mr Turnbull, who is fully-vaccinated, said his symptoms were moderate "so far" and that he was isolating.
In the comments of the Twitter thread, his wife, Lucy confirmed she has so far tested negative and has had her booster shot.
Like hundreds of thousands of other Australians I have tested positive for covid. Symptoms moderate so far. Isolating as required. This pandemic and especially this latest wave has put our health professionals under enormous pressure - please be polite and considerate ….
— Malcolm Turnbull 💉💉 (@TurnbullMalcolm) January 7, 2022
Mr Turnbull also urged people to be kind to healthcare workers.
"This pandemic and especially this latest wave has put our health professionals under enormous pressure - please be polite and considerate when dealing with the front line health workers," he said.
"Whatever failures there have been in planning and preparation are NOT their fault. They have had two years of relentless pressure and it’s now at its most intense.
"So give them the love and respect they deserve, please."
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