N.Z. Adds 126 Cases in 2 Days; Australian State Hits Record
More Covid-19 community cases in New Zealand have surfaced in the two days since Christmas Eve, with 126 new infections reported Sunday. Forty-five people are hospitalized with the virus, including eight in intensive care.
New Zealand’s daily toll of new local infections has risen from the 62 reported on Dec. 24. In Australia, cases continue to trend upward, with New South Wales -- the most populous state -- reporting 6,394 new infections, exceeding previous daily records.
Further south in Australia’s Victoria state, numbers declined 27% from a day prior with 1,608 new cases. Six more people in Victoria entered the intensive care unit, with 129 people in the ICU across both states.
The picture is similar in other parts of the nation, with Queensland state registering 714 cases and Tasmania reporting a new daily record of 44. Northern Territory added 14 new infections and the Australian Capital Territory, home to Canberra, added 71.
More than 180,000 tests were conducted for Covid-19 in Australia’s two most populous states over the Christmas Day holiday. New South Wales State Premier Dominic Perrottet addressed the growing frustration at long lines at testing centers across the state as citizens scrambled to comply with travel rules for some destinations.
“If you do not feel unwell, if you are not advised by New South Wales Health, there is no need to receive a PCR test,” Perrottet told reporters on Sunday. “You are taking spot in the queue from somebody who needs a test.”
In Australia, statistics released by the government show 70.1% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 16 years and over were double-dosed as at Dec. 21. Indigenous Australians make up about 3% of the population.
Separately, New Zealand announced an 80% double-dose rate among the Indigenous Maori people, who comprise 17% of the overall population of five million.
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