The Chief Health Officer on Thursday said that based on evidence from overseas as well as in Australia, hospitalisations from the variant were a lot less common than they were from the Delta strain.
‘It indicates that infection with Omicron is likely to be milder than infection with Delta, with the risk of hospitalisation being around 60 per cent to 80 per cent less than for Delta,’ she said.
But she warned due to the high transmissibility of the virus, it was possible more patients would be needing medical care.
NSW top doctor Kerry Chant has confirmed 80 per cent of Covid cases in NSW are Omicron – and the variant does appear to be less severe than previous strains
‘The issue is the increased transmissibility, leading to high case numbers,’ she added.
‘And the impact this is having on vulnerable settings, vulnerable people and critical workforces. Such as our health and aged care workforce.
‘And also it’s important to remember that more cases across the population can lead to hospitalisations, you can see higher hospitalisations overall.’
NSW new rules
Masks mandated indoors except private homes until 27 January
Hospitality venues will have a one person per two square metres rule imposed from December 27 until January 27
Working from home recommended
Only get PCR tested if you are ill or directed to by NSW health
Dr Chant urged NSW residents to get their booster shots, adding the extra level of coverage would ‘increase your protection and probably will have an impact on transmission’.
She also confirmed that just over 70 per cent of cases were in people aged between ten and 39-years-old.
NSW suffered its worst day on record on Thursday with 5,715 new infections recorded.
The huge spike in cases – up nearly 2,000 from Wednesday’s numbers – prompted Premier Dominic Perrottet to bring back a string of restrictions.
Masks will again be mandatory indoors except for at private homes until January 27 while residents will need to check into venues via QR codes.
Hospitality venues will have a one person per two square metres rule imposed from December 27 until January 27.
Earlier this week Mr Perrottet said he didn’t want mask mandates because he wanted to treat people ‘like adults’ and let them decide for themselves – before backflipping on the decision.
‘We believe today’s changes are modest, cautious, takes a precautionary approach as we move through this holiday period to the end of January,’ he said.
‘The system is in a very strong position. Our ICU numbers remain low at 45. That is incredibly pleasing.
NSW suffered its worst day of cases on Thursday with 5,715 new infections recorded
‘We believe the changes that we are making today will ensure that our health system is well manned over the holiday season as we go through this next stage.’
Mr Perrottet said there are about 1,500 health workers today unable to go to work because they are sick or have to get Covid tests.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said too many people are getting tested even though they don’t have symptoms, pushing out the testing times.
‘Many people waiting hours in queues, particularly as we come into Christmas.
‘We’re doing everything we can to alleviate that pressure. In addition to the PCR testing, if you’re unwell and those people from New South Wales… if you aren’t feeling unwell, please do not get a PCR test.’
Premier Dominic Perrottet announced the return of a string of Covid-19 measures on Thursday to deal with the spike in cases
Source: Daily Mail