NSW reports record-breaking Covid cases after Christmas Day gatherings

·News Reporter
·2-min read

NSW has broken yet another daily record for coronavirus cases after recording more than 6,300 on Boxing Day, as the state's Health Minister warns that every resident is "probably going to get Omicron at some stage".

The health department said on Sunday, 6,394 new infections have been recorded with no new deaths.

There are no new additions to the ICU with 52 people currently in intensive care but hospitalisations overall have increased from 388 to 458.

A shopper is seen in Sydney's CBD in Sydney, Australia.
A shopper is seen in Sydney's CBD on Christmas Eve. Source: Getty Images

What is also of concern is NSW recorded 6,288 new cases on Christmas Day from more than 149,000 tests. Boxing Day's total is from 40,000 less tests.

Thousands of people were forced to spend Christmas in isolation on Saturday.

Health officials said most patients in hospital care are unvaccinated.

The spiralling outbreak has for the past week swamped contact tracers and overwhelmed testing sites.

The situation has prompted the government to reintroduce some restrictions that had been wound back on December 15.

Masks are again required in indoor settings, with hospitality venues to return to the one person per two-square metre rule and QR codes to be compulsory again from Monday.

While no restrictions affected Christmas gatherings at homes on Saturday, those still able to celebrate were encouraged to take precautions wherever possible.

People line up at the Histopath pre-departure COVID testing clinic at Sydney International airport in Sydney, Australia.
People line up for Covid-19 testing at Sydney International airport. Source: Getty Images

'We are all going to get it', Health Minister warns

Health Minister Brad Hazzard has warned every Australian will likely catch the Omicron variant.

"Everyone in NSW is probably going to get Omicron at some stage. Everybody in Australia will get Omicron," he said, noting vaccination was the best way to face that prospect.

It's highly likely everyone will spend 10 days in isolation in the next two or three years, he said, but he noted symptoms appear milder and the current approach to isolation may change.

"Early evidence both internationally and here ... is indicating that it's nowhere near as severe, so on that basis we're looking at how we reconfigure our approach," he said.

NSW is all but guaranteed to reach its goal of 95 per cent vaccination coverage, recording a double-dose rate of 93.5 per cent on Sunday.

"We never believed we would reach that rate," Mr Hazzard said.

"To be in a position now where we have one of of the highest vaccination rates, not just in Australia but globally, ensures that as we open up we're able to do so as safely as possible."

Christmas Day coronavirus numbers across the country hit 9993, a figure expected to be eclipsed on Sunday.

with AAP

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