Surge in new Covid cases as Victoria jumps 15% to 8,162 and NSW by 32.6% to 8,201 but ICU patients drop below 100 and hospitalisations fall dramatically
Covid cases have jumped in both NSW and Victoria overnight, with the states recording 8201 and 8162 new infections respectively.
There were 16 deaths recorded in NSW on Tuesday, up by two from the day before, while case numbers climbed by 2017.
Hospitalisations have dropped slightly overnight by 66 to 1583, while there are 96 people in intensive care – four fewer than reported by NSW Health on Monday.
About 48.5 per cent of people have received a booster shot.
Meanwhile, nurses in around 150 public hospitals are striking for the first time in nearly a decade.
A skeleton staff will remain at hospitals to ensure patient safety.
Thousands of nurses will rally outside NSW Parliament House to take their message to MPs as they return to Macquarie Street for the first sitting day of the year.
NSW Nurses and Midwives Association General Secretary Brett Holmes says nurses have made the ‘difficult’ decision to strike because they are stretched to the limit.
‘They want significant change to occur and they need it to start happening now,’ he said.
Nurses want one nurse to every four patients on every shift and a pay increase above the government’s prescribed public sector offer of 2.5 per cent.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard says he’s disappointed by the strike is proceeding, saying the changes they want would cost the state about $1 billion to implement.
Meanwhile, Victoria has reported 8162 new Covid cases and 20 deaths – a rise from the 7104 infections and two fatalities on Monday.
Of the new cases revealed on Tuesday, 6128 were detected through rapid antigen tests and 2034 via PCR lab testing.
Active cases are continuing to tumble, dropping from 53,707 to 50,967.
There are 441 people in Victorian hospitals, down 24 from Monday’s number. Of these, 67 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care and 14 currently require ventilation.
About 51 per cent of Victorians 18 and over have rolled up their sleeve for a third jab, after 10,930 doses were administered at state-run hubs on Monday.
Victoria’s health department has released data showing triple-jabbed Victorians are less likely to end up in hospital, ICU or dying than the double vaccinated.
The data demonstrates those who have had their third dose are 4.5 times less likely to go to hospital with COVID-19 than someone with two doses and six times less likely than the unvaccinated.
Intensive care figures also showed double-dosed people were 7.6 times more likely to end up in ICU than the triple-jabbed, while that figure jumped to 34 times when comparing the unvaccinated with boosted individuals.
In addition, triple-vaccinated Victorians have been 88 times less likely to die from COVID-19 since the start of the year compared to someone of their own age who was either unvaccinated or had one dose.
That figure dropped marginally to 66 times less likely for the double-dosed.
COVID Response Commander Jeroen Weimar said about 2.5 million Victorians are eligible for a third dose shot but are yet to received it.
He acknowledged many people have had COVID-19 in the past six or seven weeks but said they shouldn’t be putting it off.
‘If your symptoms have gone, then you can go and get your third dose,’ Mr Weimar told reporters.
Meanwhile, Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy and four of his colleagues have been fined for not wearing masks at an indoor event at parliament last week.
In a statement on Monday, Mr Guy said the fines would be paid promptly but the Liberals and Nationals would continue to push for face mask mandates to be dumped in low-risk settings.
Police said the $100 fines have been issued and will be served in coming days.