NSW has maintained its deadliest day of the pandemic as a feature for people to record their positive fast antigen test results went live on the state’s COVID-19 app.
- Seven out of 21 new deaths are historic and confirmed by coronary studies
- About 90 percent of NSW’s COVID-19 cases are the Omicron stain
- People can now report positive fast antigen test results on the Service NSW app
There were 21 deaths in the 24 hours to 6 p.m. 20 yesterday, but Health Chief Kerry Chant revealed that seven of those deaths were “historic” and dated all the way back to September.
Dr. Chant said authorities had been waiting for the results of coronary investigations before linking some of the deaths to the virus.
A total of 17 men and four women were confirmed dead with the virus in the most recent reporting period – the youngest person was in his 30s and the oldest was more than 100 years old.
The number of people being treated for the virus in the hospital has grown to 2,242 and 175 people are in intensive care.
This is an increase of 56 hospital and five intensive care patients, respectively, compared to the previous reporting period. There are 54 people in a fan.
There were a further 34,759 new infections registered on Tuesday, with 134,411 tests performed.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said 95 per cent of residents aged 16 and over had at least one dose of a vaccine, yet half of the people in the intensive care unit were unvaccinated.
“So please, if you have not done so, if you have not received the first dose, then go and do it. If you are eligible for a second dose, so do it,” he said.
Dr. Chant said genomic sequencing had revealed that 90 percent of the active cases in NSW were the Omicron strain, with 10 percent being the Delta variant.
“Of course, it may be different in different geographical areas, but it gives society a broader understanding,” she said.
Despite health authorities describing Omicron as being more “mild” than previous strains, Dr. Chant that 67 percent of people in the intensive care unit had the new variant.
In the first week of December, only 10 percent of people in the intensive care unit were infected with Omicron, she said.
NSW Health said yesterday that the declining number of PCR tests performed meant that reported cases did not reflect the true number of infections in the community.
The number of cases dropped from a high of more than 45,000 on January 7 to just 20,200 in two days after people were urged to use fast tests instead of struggling with long queues for laboratory tests.
A self-reporting function for rapid antigen tests (RATs) went live on the Service NSW app at 9 today.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet said public health orders had been signed, making reporting a positive RAT result mandatory.
Anyone who has tested positive on a RAT test from today must report it or be fined $ 1,000.
Individuals who have tested positive between January 1st and 11th must also report theirs.
Sir. Perrottet said the government would give society a one-week grace period before the fines take effect on Jan. 19.
The state government has ordered 50 million RATs and is seeking to raise 50 million more to be distributed to key service workers, including teachers, health and transport staff.
Sir. Perrottet said, however, that the national cabinet had decided not to distribute free tests to the wider community because private supply chains would “be compromised through this approach”.
Instead, the premiere said a voucher system to be used in pharmacies or supermarkets was being considered.
He acknowledged that there were still major challenges surrounding the supply of RATs, but expected that private providers would escalate in the coming weeks.
Sir. Perrottet said the RAT and PCR test systems would “compliment” each other to paint an accurate picture of the viral load in society.
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