Elective surgeries are expected to be postponed in New South Wales as that state reports another 38,625 COVID-19 cases and eleven deaths in the past 24 hours.
The numbers to 8pm Thursday take the state’s three-day total past 100,000 and cases in the past fortnight to 262,000.
The number of people in hospital rose 129 to 1738, including 134 in intensive care (up by three).
The daily figures came on the back of 112,725 tests, meaning one in three people getting a PCR was infected.
The rising numbers came as Premier Dominic Perrottet warned the state may suspend elective surgeries to relieve pressure on the hospital system.
Private hospitals could also be asked to help manage the increase in cases, he said.
But Australian Medical Association NSW president Danielle McMullen said suspending surgeries was an avoidable move that “will have profound consequences for patients”.
“Elective surgery shouldn’t be a tap that government turns on and off to cover for serious cracks in our healthcare system,” Dr McMullen said.
Nightclubs, singing and dancing in pubs, and major events will also be halted in response to the surging Omicron caseload, Nine Newspapers reported.
Many of NSW’s testing sites and pathology labs are also under strain due to high demand.
Mr Perrottet said the testing system was at full capacity and it will take time to relieve the pressure as people adjust to new testing guidelines which pivot to using rapid, at-home tests.
Unlike PCR, laboratory tests, rapid antigen test results are not registered, sparking concerns authorities could be left “flying blind” if there was no way for people to self-report their results.