South Australia registers 4,594 new COVID cases and two deaths

Southern Australia has reported two more COVID-related deaths and 4,594 new cases – the third highest daily total of the pandemic.

A woman in her 90s and a man in his 60s who tested positive for the virus have died, SA Health said.

There are 161 people in the hospital and eight people in the intensive care unit, one of them in a respirator.

The jump in daily cases comes in the middle of the spread of the new BA.2 variant, bringing the total number of active cases to 27,136.

SA Health said the latest genome sampling has found that about 70 percent of cases are BA.2.

There have been 240 fatal COVID cases in SA since the start of the pandemic, all but four of them since the borders reopened in November.

The 4,594 new cases are an increase of more than 900 compared to yesterday’s figures of 3,686 and come after senior epidemiologist Professor Adrian Esterman and Prime Minister Peter Malinauskas yesterday predicted that the daily total number could rise to 8,000 within a few weeks.

“As the number of cases increases, admissions do not increase at the same rate, and that is because of the vaccine,” Mr Malinauskas said today.

“What worries us all is what the vaccine uptake is [and take-up] among boosters declining, we could start to see a different result.

“I know there is fatigue in the community and I understand that – people are tired of being told to go and get vaccinated.

“But the truth is, that’s the difference between life and death for so many South Australians, and I will continue to support the booster – we have a plan to invest in the booster campaign.”

Daily totals have tended to peak towards the middle of the work week, which has responded to an increase in testing.

“Yesterday, 15,592 people received a PCR test in southern Australia, which is a 33.5 per cent increase over the previous 24 hours,” SA Health said.

SA Health said nearly 70 percent of the eligible population had received booster vaccinations so far.

More on the way.

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