Sat. May 21st, 2022

After a drop in two consecutive days for the first time in a month, the number of hospitalizations in NSW increased again on Saturday by 2762 people in the hospital.

However, the number of people in the intensive care unit decreased by five to 204.

It is better than NSW Health’s “best-case scenario” predictions based on outbreaks in London and South Africa, which expected a peak of 3,158 people in the hospital and 270 in the intensive care unit.

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NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet stressed again on Saturday that vaccinations and boosters were the key to living with the virus, and the health system is “under pressure”, but is doing well.

He says “the facts and evidence speak for themselves” about vaccinations.

Fully vaccinated people make up 93.9 per cent of the population in NSW, and the significantly smaller number of unvaccinated people make up almost 50 per cent of the people in intensive care units with the virus, says the Prime Minister.

There were 8,566 cases reported from rapid antigen tests on Saturday, and NSW Health says 7,687 are from the previous seven days.

Authorities also note “there may be some cases included in these figures where people have reported positive RATs for several days … or had a positive PCR test during the same reporting period”.

One week before the NSW school term is due to begin, the state has not yet released a plan to return children to classrooms in the midst of the continuing outbreak.

“We are doing it in a way that is safe for parents, safe for teachers and safe for children, and we will soon be announcing these plans with the Victorian government,” Perrottet said Saturday.

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The premiere said Friday that rapid antigen testing would play a “short-term role” in boosting confidence, and that opening schools on day one was “critically important.”

Opposition leader Chris Minns said parents and teachers were in dire need of clarity.

“We really need the NSW premiere to go ahead and explain to parents and teachers and students in this state when that plan will be released,” he said Friday.

COVID-19 cases in Victoria are growing

Victoria has registered 16,016 new COVID-19 cases and 20 deaths as the state tries to increase the reserve for substitute teachers ahead of expected disruption when teaching resumes.

The new infections, confirmed by the Ministry of Health on Saturday, include 8,432 from PCR tests and 7,584 from rapid antigen tests.

That brings the total number of active cases in the state to 217,505, which includes 1,029 people in the hospital, a drop of 67 from Friday’s figures.

The number of Victorians on intensive care is at 120 and there are 39 people in respirator.

It happens as the Victorian government encourages inactive or retired teachers, education support staff, retired principals and staff with administrative experience to raise their hands to fill COVID-related vacancies in public schools.

Workers joining the pool will be sent to local schools to replace teachers and other training support staff at short notice if and when they receive COVID-19 and need to be isolated.

“Every sector is under pressure from the Omicron variant, and education will be no exception – but we intervene early to ensure that staff absenteeism does not mean major disruptions to student learning,” Education Minister James Merlino said in a statement. Saturday.

The Victorian government still needs to detail its back-to-school plan, but has promised students will return to classes when the first semester begins on January 31st.

What is happening elsewhere?

Another 10 people have died in Queensland’s COVID-19 wave as the state registers 15,050 new cases and international quarantine requirements are relaxed.

The most recent deaths include one in his 40s and one in his 50s and come as state hospital admissions for COVID-19 rise to 884.

Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said the number of intensive care units had dropped marginally from 54 to 52, and signs that the virus wave had peaked across the border in NSW were positive for the state.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr.  John Gerrard speaks to the media during a press conference.

Source: AAP

He remains convinced that Queensland’s peak will come about two weeks after NSW, saying areas including the Gold Coast and Brisbane would be among the earliest.

“The top is not the end, the top is the highlight of the transmission,” he said Saturday.

In a speech from the Brisbane International Airport Terminal, Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the recent deaths were “terrible news” for family and friends.

The first quarantine-free international flights arrived in Brisbane on Saturday, with passengers originally consisting of returning citizens, students and workers.

It signals the start of a “slow rebuild” for the state’s international tourism industry, Mr Hinchliffe said.

Southern Australia recorded three more deaths as the number of hospital admissions dropped by 23 to 275.

The number of intensive care units rose slightly to 37 in the state, and seven people remain on ventilators.

Tasmania reported 726 virus-related cases and one death, its second virus-related death since the state reopened the border in December.

It was the fifth day in a row that infections have dropped in the state.

With further reporting from SBS News.

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