The ACT has recorded 1311 new cases of COVID-19 (727 PCR, 584 RAT), bringing the current total of active cases to 4894 (2293 PCR and 2601 RAT).
Yesterday the ACT recorded 1226 cases.
Since the pandemic began, 63,148 (41,994 PCR and 21,154 RAT) cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the ACT.
Currently, there are 39 patients with COVID-19 in the Territory’s hospitals, including three in ICU, with one requiring ventilation. Yesterday, there were 39 people in hospital.
There is no update on today’s vaccination data. As of yesterday, the double-dose vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population was 94.9 per cent, and 70.8 per cent of residents aged 16 and older had received a booster.
Of ACT residents aged five to 11, 21.1 per cent had received two doses.
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Speaking yesterday (16 March) at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) event, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said National Cabinet was reaching the end of its life as a useful decision-making mechanism as the pandemic rolls on.
“[National Cabinet] was set up to enable quick responses at a political level to a crisis environment,” Mr Barr explained, and it had been successful at opening up Prime Minister Scott Morrison to more feedback from the states and territories than he usually asked for.
“It became a national civics lesson. I don’t think most Australians had any idea that most service deliveries … everything that affects your day-to-day life is delivered by state and territory governments. The Federal Government is just a big money-churning machine,” Mr Barr said.
He noted he was not criticising the Commonwealth Government but that it was just how the constitution was structured.
However, he said it was now time to return to a business-as-usual model as the forum was not able to deliver long-term policy reform.
Earlier this week, Mr Barr was critical of Prime Minister Scott Morrison trying to railroad states and territories into accepting a particular policy position on close contact quarantine requirements.
Mr Barr also said the majority of the hard work – such as policy reform- was undertaken by treasurers rather than first ministers. He is uniquely positioned to comment on this, he said, as he serves as both treasurer and Chief Minister.
Interstate, NSW has reported five deaths overnight and 20,087 new cases.
There are now 1036 people in hospital with the virus and 34 people in ICUs around the state.
Victoria has reported seven deaths overnight and an additional 9752 cases of COVID-19.
There are now 197 people hospitalised with the virus, while 23 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.