NSW passes grim milestone after recording 46 Covid deaths

NSW has recorded its worst day of the pandemic with 46 Covid-related deaths announced on Friday.

The daily death toll easily eclipses the previous worst day when 36 deaths were reported in a single day.

The latest tally included deaths from previous days which had not yet been reported, premier Dominic Perrottet told reporters. Seven of the deaths dated as far back as the end of December but had only been released by the coroner.

Of the latest Covid deaths, fourteen were unvaccinated.

The latest number takes NSW past the unfortunate milestone of 1000 pandemic deaths.

The state reported 25,168 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Thursday night, as daily cases numbers continue to trend down. The number include some 8,774 rapid antigen tests which had been reported in the past week.

For the second straight day, hospital numbers dropped while ICU numbers remain fairly stable.

There are 2,743 people in hospital with the virus and 209 in intensive care. Both figures are down from the previous day when NSW had 2,781 Covid patients in hospital and 212 in ICU.

NSW could have reached its Omicron peak, experts say. Source: AAP
NSW could have reached its Omicron peak, experts say. Source: AAP

On Thursday, hospitalisations dropped for the first time since December 13.

There are "promising" signs the state is past the worst of the outbreak, Deakin University epidemiologist Catherine Bennett told AAP.

While case numbers are unlikely to drop rapidly, as you would expect with a peak, Prof Bennett says they seem to have plateaued.

"It's really complicated because of the changes to testing protocols and availability of testing has been a problem," she said.

"But all the indicators, while none of them are truly reliable and they've all shifted around... are looking good."

However, the number of people becoming seriously ill and dying with the virus may not drop for weeks, she said.

Victoria record 20 Covid deaths, 18,000 cases

Victoria has recorded 18,167 new Covid-19 cases and 20 deaths, as a four-day booster vaccine blitz gets underway at eight state-run hubs.

The new infections, confirmed by the health department on Friday, include 10,023 from PCR tests and 8144 from rapid antigen tests.

It takes the total number of active cases in the state to 252,399, up by 5,505.

Similarly to NSW, hospital figures have dropped by 110, down to 1,096

The number of Victorians in intensive care sits at 121 and there are 34 people on ventilation.

Victoria's third dose rate has lifted to 28 per cent as the booster blitz begins on Friday, with 60,000 vaccine slots available.

with AAP

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