1 July 2022

COVID-19 hospitalisations increase dramatically as Territory reports 80th pandemic death, 1169 new cases

| Lottie Twyford
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Empty COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine vials

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler ordered an urgent inquiry into Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine contracts and supply yesterday. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

The ACT has today passed a grim milestone. Eighty people have now died with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

The death of a woman in her 80s was recorded overnight.

It comes as ACT Health reported 1169 new COVID-19 infections in the latest reporting period to 8 pm last night and there are now 138 people in hospital.

That’s a dramatic increase on yesterday’s figures when there were 122 people in hospital.

Four people are now in the ICU and one person requires ventilation.

Active cases are also at a new high of 6876 (3679 PCR and 3197 RAT).

It comes as Federal Health Minister Mark Butler confirmed an urgent inquiry into Australia’s various contracts with COVID-19 vaccine suppliers and whether the country currently has enough vaccine supply.

The inquiry will be headed by former health department secretary Jane Halton.

“It is entirely proper, I think, that we conduct an independent review of those arrangements to ensure that they are fit-for-purpose, both now, over the course of the rest of the year and into 2023,” he said on Thursday (30 June).

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But Mr Butler, who has criticised the Morrison government’s vaccine program, said the inquiry will not look back at past procurement.

He has previously backed calls for a royal commission into the nation’s pandemic response.

Mr Butler also confirmed COVID-19 vaccines for children aged between six months and five years, which have been approved in the United States, are progressing to approval in Australia.

Moderna and Pfizer have applied to provide paediatric COVID-19 vaccines in Australia.

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A total of 158,826 (95,210 PCR and 63,616 RAT) COVID-19 cases have been recorded since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Yesterday, the ACT reported 1250 new COVID-19 infections.

The double-dose vaccination rate for the ACT’s five-plus population remains 97.4 per cent and 77.3 per cent of residents aged 16 and older have received a booster.

Of ACT residents aged five to 11, 68.9 per cent have received two doses of vaccine.

Students at three ACT public schools are today spending the last day of Term Two learning remotely.

The affected students are Preschoolers at Red Hill Primary School, Years 1 and 2 at Duffy Primary School and Years 7 and 8 at Lanyon Primary School.

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Interstate, NSW has reported nine deaths overnight and 10,930 new cases of COVID-19.

There are now 1558 people in hospital with the virus and 41 people in ICUs around the state.

Victoria has reported 12 deaths overnight and 8057 cases of COVID-19.

There are now 472 people hospitalised with the virus while 23 patients are in the state’s intensive care units.

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