Covid hospitalizations hit record high in Australian capital

The number of people hospitalised for Covid-19 in Australia’s capital Canberra has hit a new record high, authorities said on Tuesday.

According to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Health Department, there were 93 hospitalised people in the capital city, including four in intensive care, reports Xinhua news agency.

It was the highest figure since the start of the pandemic two years ago, surpassing the previous record set on May 22, said the Canberra Times.

It comes ahead of an expected spike in cases and deaths across the country through winter, which starts on Wednesday.

There were more than 30,000 new infections reported across Australia on Tuesday and more than 50 deaths – 20 in Victoria, 19 in New South Wales, 11 in Queensland, four in Western Australia and one each in the ACT and Tasmania.

Data published by the federal Health Department revealed there had been 8,469 total Covid-19 deaths in Australia in the last 24 hours, an increase of 359 from 8,110 a week earlier.

It takes the death toll this year to 6,230, almost three times higher than the 2,239 Covid-19 deaths in 2020 and 2021 combined.

With the threat of a winter Covid-19 spike looming, Victoria on Tuesday became the latest state to announce it will make influenza vaccinations free for all residents in a bid to protect the health system from a double blow.

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