NSW reports 6,288 Covid cases on Christmas Day as Australia hits record infections

New South Wales has recorded its highest ever Covid daily caseload, with 6,288 new infections announced on Christmas Day, as tens of thousands of Australians are forced into isolation over the festive period.

Covid transmission is also continuing to surge in Victoria, where authorities announced 2,108 new Covid-19 infections and six deaths from the virus.

Queensland announced a new daily record of 765 new cases on Christmas Day, with the state’s health minister, Yvette D’Ath, declaring “this virus is everywhere now”. D’Ath confirmed 151 of those cases had the Omicron strain.

There are now more than 30,000 active Covid cases in NSW and more than 17,000 in Victoria, with isolation orders wreaking havoc on Christmas gathering plans, while testing delays and Covid exposure among airline staff have stymied travel plans of thousands of travellers.

In NSW, the record 6,288 new cases were detected from 149,261 tests conducted in the reporting period to 24 hours to 8pm on Friday.

Hospitalisations have remained relatively steady in the state, with 388 Covid patients in hospital on Saturday, up from 382 on Friday.

There are now 52 patients in intensive care in the state, down from 53 on Friday. Of those in ICU, 14 are on ventilators.

There were no new deaths in NSW, and the state’s first-dose vaccine rate ticked over to 95% after slowing in recent weeks.

In Victoria, 2,208 cases were detected from 83,456 tests. Hospitalisations remained steady at 361, with 71 cases in ICU in Victoria.

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