The ACT has recorded its highest daily tally of COVID-19 cases in over a month – 1053 – and Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced he tested positive to the virus late last night.
It’s the highest number since 1467 infections were recorded on 19 January.
Prime Minister Morrison said he had returned a positive result to a PCR he underwent after developing a fever late yesterday (1 March).
He had been due to attend an event at the Sydney Opera House in support of the Ukrainian community but cancelled his appearance due to his symptoms.
Mr Morrison attended a meeting of the National Security Committee on Tuesday along with other senior government ministers.
No other senior government figures have tested positive for the virus. Defence Minister Peter Dutton said his rapid antigen test (RAT) taken this morning returned a negative result.
Mr Dutton said Mr Morrison seemed to be in high spirits and would be able to continue his duties virtually.
In his statement, the Prime Minister confirmed he is now isolating at home in Sydney with his wife and daughters. So far they have all returned negative test results but are considered close contacts.
He had been undertaking RATs every morning since Sunday (27 February), but all of these had returned negative results.
“I took a further test this evening after developing a fever late today. The test was inconclusive, so I took a PCR test tonight, which returned a positive result late this evening.
“While in isolation, I will continue to discharge all my responsibilities as Prime Minister, including virtually chairing meetings of the National Security and Expenditure Review Committees of Cabinet, focusing on our emergency response to the devastating floods in Queensland and NSW,” Mr Morrison’s statement read.
He said he will also continue to focus on the unfolding crisis in Ukraine.
Locally, today’s caseload has been identified from 596 PCR and 457 RAT results and takes the ACT’s active caseload to 4027 (1965 PCR and 2062 RAT).
In total, 51,244 (35,605 PCR and 15,639 RAT) cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the ACT since the pandemic began.
There are 40 people in hospital with COVID; yesterday, there were 45. Nobody with COVID-19 has been in the ICU in the ACT for four consecutive days.
The vaccination rate for the ACT’s 12-plus population remains 98.6 per cent, while 68.2 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have received a booster.
Of ACT residents aged 5 to 11, 78.5 per cent have received one dose.
Interstate, NSW has reported five deaths overnight and 10,650 new cases.
There are now 1072 people in hospital with the virus and 45 people in ICUs around the state.
Victoria has reported 28 deaths overnight and an additional 7126 cases of COVID-19.
There are now 264 people hospitalised with the virus and 37 patients in intensive care units in the state.