The Australian state of New South Wales has reported a record 92,264 new COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths after the government mandated the registration of rapid anti-gen test results.
According to the state's health department, 30,877 were recorded through PCR testing and 61,387 were self-reported from rapid antigen tests, bringing the total number of cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 566,164.
The cases include previously underreported infections detected through rapid tests from Jan. 1, with 50,729 of the positive tests taken in last seven days.
Anyone who tests positive using a rapid anti-gen test is now required to register their result with the state government.
Across the NSW, 95.1% of people aged 16 and over have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 93.7% are fully vaccinated.
The health department is encouraging those who are eligible to get their booster dose.
Overall, cases in Australia have jumped to 1.195 million, with 2,522 related deaths.
The exponential rise in cases is attributed to the new omicron variant. As many as 4,197 people are hospitalized, with 307 in intensive care units and 117 on ventilator.
Almost 95% of the Australian population aged 16 years and over have now had a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while more than 92.3% are fully vaccinated. Over 4.3 million booster doses have also been administered.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said omicron case numbers continue to increase in Australia, and that the government is seeking to minimize serious illness, hospitalization and fatalities as a result of COVID-19.
* Writing by Islamuddin SajidAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.