Itâ€™s only a brief update this morning but Dr Gerrard hands over to Deputy Police Commissioner Peter Martin who gives an update on tropical cyclone Seth, a category 1 cyclone that is currently sitting 630km east of Hervey Bay.
Martin says the cyclone is moving south and is expected to slow down before turning to the south-west on Sunday afternoon before losing its severity on Monday. He also urges caution for anyone in the region who is heading to the coast today:
â€œWhat we are expecting to see is very high tides on the coast in our low-lying areas, potentially some flooding as a result of those high tides, and some severe weather action on the coast with respect to waves and damaging surf. It is really important that anybody going to the coast today and over the next couple of days is very mindful that they will be significant surf on the coast, damaging waves, and some very high tides which will cause rips along the coast and some local flooding.â€
Dr Gerrard says five people in intensive care in the sunshine state, but none are on ventilators. Two are pregnant women, one who isnâ€™t vaccinated. He is also trying to get people used to the idea that there will be large numbers of case numbers:
The issue we are facing is of course that with the degree of contagiousness of this virus, we are going to be seeing very large numbers of cases, even though the severity is clearly going to be less, we are going to see very large numbers of cases and a small proportion of a very large number is still a large number.
He also includes a call for pregnant women to get vaccinated:
Many people are not aware that in pregnancy, your level of immunity is slightly suppressed. The theory is that it is to prevent the motherâ€™s body from rejecting the baby as a foreign invader. So pregnancy it very slightly, it lowers your level of immunity in pregnant women. This means pregnant women are more susceptible to a number of different infections, including Covid-19. That is why it is so critical pregnant women get vaccinated.
Queensland records 3,587 new Covid cases
And weâ€™re kicking off with the numbers from Queensland as the stateâ€™s chief health officer Dr John Gerrard is speaking now at the daily press conference.
Happy Sunday everyone. Itâ€™s a new year, a new day and Iâ€™m here with a fresh pot of coffee. Iâ€™ll be taking you through to the afternoon, so if you see something you think should be on the blog, you can find me at @RoyceRk2.
Thatâ€™s where I leave you for today. Iâ€™ll hand you over to my colleague Royce Kurmelovs.
Police in the New South Wales Hunter region are conducting a recovery operation after the body of a man was discovered inside a submerged vehicle in Port Stephens today.
Just after 4.30am emergency services were called to the Soldier Point boat ramp, about an hour north of Newcastle, following reports of a vehicle in the water.
Officers attached to Port Stephens-Hunter Police District attended and located a white hatchback fully submerged.
The body of a man, yet to be formally identified, was found within the vehicle.
A crime scene has been established and a recovery operation is underway.
Police say an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident has commenced and that a report will be prepared for the state coroner.
Tasmania records 404 new Covid cases
Tasmania has recorded 404 new cases of Covid-19, with three people in hospital.
The state has a first-dose vaccination rate of 97.74% in the 16+ population.
University of NSW epidemiologist Mary-Louise McLaws with some thoughts on the supply of rapid antigen tests this morning.
Fast rail linking Sydney and the Hunter will be prioritised under a Labor government, opposition leader Anthony Albanese says.
AAP reports that the first step towards high-speed rail linking major cities, the route would deliver speeds of more than 250km/h, cutting the journey time from Sydney to Newcastle to 45 minutes, down from two-and-a-half hours.
The most recent report into high-speed rail found the Sydney to Newcastle route should be the first component of an eventual line to Brisbane.
Albanese will announce his government would make the works a key priority for a new high-speed rail authority, and also provide $500m funding in its first budget to begin corridor acquisition, planning and early works.
At a speech to be given in Newcastle on Sunday, Albanese will outline a vision for high-speed rail between Brisbane and Melbourne.
Australia is the only inhabited continent on earth not developing high-speed rail.
Fast and high-speed rail will be an important element of Laborâ€™s smart regionalisation plan that recognises that decentralisation is critical for Australia.
As I mentioned earlier, the prime minister is monitoring for Covid-19 symptoms after a positive case attended his press conference at Sydneyâ€™s Kirribilli House.
Scott Morrison and chief medical officer Paul Kelly held the press conference on Wednesday, 29 December, to announce a snap national cabinet meeting.
The press conference was held outdoors and members of the press were wearing face masks.
Morrison does not need to isolate or take a PCR test under NSW Health guidelines.
Changes to isolation and testing requirements were ushered in by the national cabinet meeting on Thursday as cases across the country soared.
NSW hospitalisations rise by 18% in one day, 20% positivity rate
Perhaps the most significant figure in those NSW Health stats is the hospitalisations.
The state now had 1,066 people hospitalised with Covid-19. Thatâ€™s 163 more than yesterday, or about an 18% jump since. By yesterday that number had already more than doubled since Christmas.
The stateâ€™s positivity rate â€“ the number of tests which result in a positive result â€“ is now about 20%.
The New South Wales government has been at pains to urge people not to get tested unless they have symptoms or fall under the new category of a close contact, but that doesnâ€™t appear to have totally solved the issue of long lines at testing clinics, as our economic correspondent Peter Hannam is discovering this morning.
NSW records 18,278 cases of Covid-19
New South Wales has recorded 18,278 new cases in the 24 hours to 8pm last night and two people have died.
It is worth noting that while the number of positive cases has dropped from previous days, so too has the number of tests, which dropped below 100,000 for the first time in quite a while.
Good morning on this second day of 2022.
Weâ€™ll have the latest Covid numbers for NSW and Victoria shortly, but first a quick recap. Yesterday, NSW recorded 22,577 cases and four deaths, while in Victoria daily cases rose to 7,442 and nine people lost their lives.
It comes as AAP reports the prime minister is monitoring for Covid symptoms after a positive case attended his press conference at Sydneyâ€™s Kirribilli House.
Scott Morrison and chief medical officer Paul Kelly held the press conference on Wednesday, 29 December, to announce a snap national cabinet meeting. It was outdoors and those attending were wearing masks.
Press News Agency is global news network. Providing the most up-to-date and high quality News from around the World, to the right people at the right time.
Naeem T Ahmed (Editor-Publisher) Contact@PressNewsAgency.org