NSW publishes 38,625 new COVID-19 cases, Victoria has 21,728, as hospitalizations jump

There are 106 intensive care patients, an increase of six.

Meanwhile, the number of cases continues to skyrocket in NSW, with the state reporting 38,625 infections and 11 deaths on Friday.

This is 3,631 more than the previous day’s record of 34,994 cases.

Victoria has recorded six deaths and 21,728 new cases of COVID-19, a slight drop from the 21,997 infections recorded on Thursday.

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Meanwhile, infections in Tasmania have nearly doubled, with the state registering 1,489 cases on Friday, up from 751.

Eight people are hospitalized with COVID-19, with three patients being treated specifically for symptoms of the virus.

It comes as the growing number of COVID-19 cases linked to the Omicron variant has led state governments to reintroduce pandemic restrictions.

As the Victorians have woken up to new density limits at hospitality venues, NSW is reportedly set to close nightclubs and some major events in response to the variant.

The Northern Territory has also implemented a territory-wide lockdown for the unvaccinated.

Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness chairperson Professor Jane Halton said the new restrictions were reasonable given the rise in infections.

“What we’re trying to do now is deal with this particular variant of the virus, which means slowing its spread,” Professor Halton told the Nine Network on Friday.

“It’s very contagious, we know that, so people are going to have to be careful over the next few weeks.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged Australians to verify their eligibility for federal pandemic disaster payments, following the increase in the number of cases.

The payment is worth $ 750 for each seven-day period a person has been asked to self-isolate or quarantine.

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The increase in the number of cases has led to an increase in demand for rapid antigen testing, which has led to widespread shortages and reports of price increases at some retailers.

Large queues have been observed at PCR testing clinics across the country following the shortage of rapid tests.

Occupational health spokesperson Mark Butler told ABC radio Australia was threatened by the lack of rapid tests.

“There is a very serious risk that the Australian community will be dumped by this fourth wave because Scott Morrison did not do the hard work,” he said.

“The essential weapons in the fight against Omicron (…) are to make sure that we put boosters in people’s arms and to make sure that we have a comprehensive regime of rapid tests and that (the Prime Minister) has failed in both cases. “

Mr Morrison said 200 million rapid tests would be available in the coming weeks, but ruled out making them universally free. Instead, the government will provide 10 tests over a three-month period to more than six million concession card holders.

Almost three million people aged 16 and over have received their booster dose since the booster rollout began.

The time between doses was shortened earlier this week from five to four months between the second and third dose.

This period will be reduced again to three months by the end of January.

With additional reports by the AAP.

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