Coronavirus crisis: Victoria records 39 deaths amid 12,775 cases

Holly HalesNCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Victoria has recorded 12,775 new cases and 39 COVID deaths in the past 24 hours.

There are now 988 infected people in Victorian hospitals, with 114 in intensive care and 40 on ventilators.

Thursday’s tally marks Victoria’s third deadliest day since the pandemic began and the highest death toll since Omicron arrived.

The figure is only lower than the 41 deaths recorded on August 31 2020 and 59 deaths on September 4 of the same year.

Victoria’s pre-Omicron peak for COVID hospitalisations was 851 in October when the State was battling a surge in Delta infections.

However, the figure is dwarfed by the 2737 people in NSW who are in hospital with COVID, as of Thursday.

More than 93 per cent of eligible Victorians are fully vaccinated and the state has 101,605 active cases.

A total of 24,467 PCR tests were taken on Wednesday and 23,252 vaccines were administered at State hubs.

It comes as a compulsory third jab for workers is now considered all but “inevitable” with one industry group raising the alarm on the impact it will have on already disrupted businesses.

Ahead of national cabinet on Thursday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews gave his strongest indication yet that a vaccinated economy would continue for some.

But advice from the expert immunisation panel about the expansion of the definition of fully vaccinated to include a third jab has not yet been finalised.

Camera IconVictorian Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to give a Covid update on Friday. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

Government sources suggest the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation will hand their advice to leaders soon, but could not provide a timeline on when that would occur.

The chief executive of the nation’s biggest employer group has acknowledged the change is unavoidable but raised concerns about what it will mean for businesses.

“It’s almost inevitable this is going to happen and businesses have been asking for weeks about what the rules will be, when will they change and how will they change,” Innes Willox told the Today show on Friday.

“There was enormous upheaval for many businesses when it was mandated that people have two shots.

“In some jurisdictions that led to a lot of people leaving, or a lot of disruption while people made up their choices.

Camera IconWearing masks on public transport due to Covid will remain indefinitely throughout Australia. NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie. Credit: News Corp Australia

“So business is likely to have to go through this again.”

Earlier this month, chief medical officer Paul Kelly acknowledged implementation issues were just one of the ATAGI’s considerations.

“There’s a number of implementation issues that would need to be considered but … the third dose is clearly an important thing,” Professor Paul Kelly told reporters.

“If you have Omicron or Omicron is present, we know that does increase the protection against severe disease and against transmission and against infection.”

More than seven million Australians over the age of 18 years old have received a third shot of the vaccine.

Originally published as Victoria records 12,775 cases, 39 Covid deaths

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