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NSW Records Over 20,000 COVID-19 Cases

Hannah Blackiston

Published 

NSW Records Over 20,000 COVID-19 Cases

Featured Image Credit: Robert Wallace / Wallace Media Network / Alamy Stock Photo

NSW has seen its COVID-19 infection numbers double again, recording 21,151 infections and six deaths in the latest reporting period.

The daily number jumped from 11,201 on Wednesday and 12,226 on Thursday, with hospitalisations slightly rising to 763 from 746.

The case number is so high it sat just under yesterday's national total infection figure and was the highest daily case number recorded in any Australian jurisdiction.

Xinhua / Alamy Stock Photo
Xinhua / Alamy Stock Photo

148,410 swabs were taken across the day, compared to 97,201 the previous day.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard warned NSW may hit 25,000 daily infections by the end of January earlier this month when the state relaxed its COVID-19 restrictions.

Those restrictions have since mostly been reinstated, but the federal government has announced easing in the definition of close contacts and the isolation times for positive cases.

NSW has abandoned mandatory PCR tests for vaccinated international travellers, in another bid to reduce the strain on testing facilities.

Iain Masterton / Alamy Stock Photo
Iain Masterton / Alamy Stock Photo

On Thursday afternoon, Premier Dominic Perrottet said vaccinated travellers will now only need to return a negative rapid antigen test.

"That will relieve substantial pressure on the system because we've got around 5000 people flying into Sydney every day," he said.

If a traveller returns a positive rapid test they must seek out a PCR test "as soon as practicable".

Perrottet said the surge in case numbers is still based on testing from four to five days ago due to the backlog.

Paul Maguire / Alamy Stock Photo
Paul Maguire / Alamy Stock Photo

"When we announce those case numbers, they are new cases, but they are based on the return of those tests which may have [been] taken four or five days before the [daily case] announcement," Perrottet said.

"We've always said as we open up, case numbers would increase, and we should expect that to continue to occur as we're learning to live alongside the virus."

Panya Kamenkit / Alamy Stock Photo
Panya Kamenkit / Alamy Stock Photo

He also said that the hospital system still has plenty of capacity for a rise in case numbers and that 70 per cent of the people who are currently in ICU are unvaccinated.

NSW and Victoria both announced they were in the process of securing rapid tests to provide residents for free, but there is still no timeline for when those will be distributed.

Topics: covid, News, Sydney, Australia

Hannah Blackiston
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