As New South Wales‘ hospitalisations increase, health services warn that there could be more people affected seriously by the virus in the coming days due to the broad community transmission and the Delta strain still lingering.

The state has reported 29,504 new cases of coronavirus overnight, down from 34,660 cases the previous day, however, 17 people have passed away from COVID-19 related complications. Of those, only one had received a booster shot, Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

There are now 2776 people in hospital, including 203 in ICU, up from 191 yesterday.

“Can I just re-emphasise that you’re particularly at risk of severe disease from COVID if you’re over 65, or have underlying chronic conditions impacting the lung, heart, kidneys, liver,” Dr Chant said.

“If you have diabetes, or if you have conditions that impact your immune system – what we call immunocompromised – You are at risk of severe disease, and I can’t urge you more strongly – please come forward and get your booster.”

Of the 29,504 new infections, 11,858 were rapid antigen test (RAT) reports while, according to reports, there are hundreds of people isolating with symptoms at home without having had access to PCR or RATs.

In Victoria, there were 22,429 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths in the past 24 hours. Hospitalisations with COVID-19 – mainly in Melbourne – have also increased with 1229 out of which 38 people are on ventilation, and 129 in intensive care.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the latest data from NSW Health showed that people who were not fully vaccinated were six times more likely to be hospitalised and 13 times more like to need intensive care, if they caught COVID-19.

“That means you are requiring the assistance of the health staff who are already exhausted,” he said, stressing that “those people who have chosen not to get vaccinated – it’s time to give a damn about someone other than yourself”.
“Give a damn about your community, your family, and most particularly, the health staff across NSW who you expect to be looking after you, if and when you end up in our hospital system.”

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton. He says he believes the state’s case numbers are close to peaking, but a lot of people will still not know whether they have Covid-19 or not.

Meanwhile, Queensland‘s health minister Yvette D’Ath reported 15,122 new coronavirus infections overnight from 30,963 tests and seven deaths.

The individuals that passed had not received a booster shot.

Western Australia reintroduced the mask mandate for all indoor public areas in Perth and Peel yesterday Sunday at 6pm, following Premier Mark McGowan announced three community transmissions of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases in the state to five. Two of the five cases are linked to the U Natural Spa Therapy business in Applecross, a previously-announced exposure site.

In addition, anyone who has been in Perth or the Peel region from 6 January will be required to wear a mask indoors if they have travelled to another region.

Northern Territory‘s Alice Springs entered lockout at 3pm on Sunday, after the state recorded another 327 cases of COVID-19.

The majority of NT’s hosptialisations are in Alice Springs, up to 44 patients from 32 on Saturday. No patients are currently in the ICU, according to Chief Minister Michael Gunner.

Tasmania has reported 1037 official cases of COVID-19 with 727 from positive rapid antigen tests and 310 from positive PCR results.

One person is in ICU. More than 90 per cent of Tasmanian resident over 12 are double vaccinated with over 26 per cent having received a booster shot.

More to come.l