A further 43 deaths from Covid-19 have been reported across New South Wales and Victoria as Australia continues to grapple with an outbreak of the Omicron variant.
NSW recorded 20 deaths in the 24 hours to 8pm Friday, slightly down from the record 29 deaths reported yesterday.
In Victoria, hospitalisations have risen to 1054, up from the 976 reported on Friday, and the state has recorded a further 23 deaths.
A total of 48,768 new cases were recorded in NSW in the reporting period.
Those case numbers are a decline from the previous reporting period, where more than 63,000 cases were reported.
Of those new cases, 21,748 were rapid antigen tests (RAT) and 27,020 were PCR tests.
The number of people in hospital with the virus in NSW is now 2576, with 193 in ICU.
NSW Health said there may be some cases included where people have reported positive RATs on multiple days or people who have also had a positive PCR test during the same reporting period.
In the latest reporting period, NSW Health said 24.2 percent of people have had three doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, but only 8.9 percent of people aged 5-11 have had one dose.
Of people aged 16 and over, 93.8 percent have had two doses of a vaccine.
Health authorities on Friday predicted NSW would see a plateau in its Covid-19 hospitalisations next week, as the state’s numbers track “better than the best-case scenario” predicted.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said Friday’s figures were below what was projected as the Omicron-led outbreak took hold last month.
“We are currently tracking at both an ICU and hospitalisation rate here in NSW better than the best case scenario we released last week,” he said.
“So that is encouraging, reassuring and pleasing. The health system is under pressure in this state, just like right around the country and right around the world as we move through this pandemic.”
Covid-19 in Victoria
Of the 1054 patients in hospital in Victoria, there are 115 in intensive care, 30 of whom are on ventilators.
There are now at least 227,105 active cases, and the death toll of the current outbreak has risen to 858.
The state recorded 25,526 new infections but with testing networks overwhelmed, the true number of cases is likely to be much higher.
The new cases were reported from 12,669 PCR results and 12,857 at-home rapid antigen tests (RATs).
About 93 percent of Victorian adults have received three doses of a vaccine so far.
Overnight, the state government confirmed about 91,000 Victorians had received text messages informing them that their PCR tests were no longer valid and could not be processed.
Private pathology providers Melbourne Pathology, ACL and Dorevitch yesterday began to inform those who are affected, with more messages expected to be sent in coming days.
The health department said those who received a message should take a RAT and isolate for seven days if they had symptoms.
The department said it was working with private providers to clear their current backlog of tests waiting to be processed, and that the wait-time for PCR results was expected to go down.
Covid-19 in Tasmania
Tasmania has today reported 1139 new Covid-19 cases.
There are currently 22 hospitalisations, with one person in intensive care.
The state government says 10 people are being treated specifically for Covid-19 related symptoms, and 12 are being treated for unrelated medical conditions.
Of the new cases, 884 were diagnosed through rapid tests, while 255 cases were detected via PCR tests.
There are currently 7108 active cases of Covid-19 in the state, and a total of 9840 have been released from isolation.