Australia’s coronavirus death toll for 2021 has surpassed that of last year as the country continues to battle the third wave of the pandemic.
On Monday, the country reported 12 new Covid fatalities, taking the nationwide death toll to 1,827, reports Xinhua news agency.
Of those, 918 have occurred in 2021 compared to 909 in 2020.
New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state, has accounted for 544, or 59 per cent, of the deaths in 2021.
By comparison, more than 90 per cent of Australia’s coronavirus deaths in 2020 were in Victoria, the country’s second-most populous state.
According to federal government data, 35 per cent of Australians who died with Covid-19 were in their 80s, 23 per cent in their 90s and 20 per cent in their 70s.
Also on Monday, there were 1,300 new locally-acquired Covid-19 cases, of which 1,126 were recorded on Victora.
The new cases increased the overall infection tally to 181,617.
Australia on Monday started its Covid-19 booster vaccination program, with anyone aged 18 and over who had their second dose at least six months ago eligible for a third shot.
So far about 89.3 per cent of Australians aged 16 and over have received one vaccine dose and 80.5 per cent were fully inoculated, according to the Department of Health.
Greg Hunt, the minister of health, said that in the context of boosters, it is important that people know that two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine provide very good protection, especially against severe disease.
“A booster dose, six or more months after the second dose, will make sure that the protection from the first doses is even stronger and longer lasting and should help prevent spread of the virus,” he said in a statement.