A total of 20 deaths have been recorded in New South Wales and Victoria, with new cases of COVID-19 across the country, with the highly infectious variant of Omicron reaching nearly 95,000.

Late Sunday, Government House confirmed that Governor General David Hurley tested positive for COVID-19.

“His Excellency is only experiencing mild symptoms,” said a statement.

“He is isolated at Admiralty House and will continue to follow all health advice and instructions. “

The Governor General is doubly vaccinated and has received his recall, and will continue to perform his duties in isolation.

Start of childhood vaccines

The latest case count and death toll came on the eve of the final stage of the coronavirus vaccine rollout with children aged five to 11 eligible to receive the vaccine from Monday.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said there would be more than enough vaccines available for the 2.3 million children eligible for a vaccine with three million doses available in January.

“We want to encourage all parents to move their children forward by the end of January to protect them and help protect the community,” Hunt told reporters Sunday in Canberra via video link.

“I am aware and delighted that some general practices and pharmacies have already started, they have received their vaccines, they have started the program and I think that is great news.”

But opposition leader Anthony Albanese said parents were worried they couldn’t date their children.

“It’s a major problem. We need to make sure this is corrected. And this government had a lot of time to prepare, to make sure the supply was OK, ”he told reporters in Ingham, Queensland.

He said this led to Queensland’s decision to delay the start of the school year by two weeks.

“This will of course have an additional impact on the workforce and an additional impact on the economy,” Mr. Albanese said.

Enclosure bracket

The latest vaccine launch came as NSW recorded another 30,062 coronavirus cases and its highest death toll since the start of the pandemic, with 16 deaths.

Victoria recorded 44,155 new infections and four more deaths.

Elsewhere, Queensland has reported 18,000 new cases, Tasmania 1,406 and ACT 1,039.

However, while the number of daily infections is staggering compared to the impact of previous variants, Mr Hunt said severe illness was relatively low.

“We have seen very low rates of serious illness, as evidenced by the fact that in about half a million cases over the past month, we have seen the number of people on ventilation drop from 54 to 76 since December 15. . Mr. Hunt told reporters. in Canberra Sunday by video link.

“So it’s very encouraging. “

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd has thankfully said that most Australians aged 12 and over have been vaccinated with at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, which has changed the severity of the infection for many people.

But he warned that with the increase in the number of cases seen over the past week in many parts of the country, it is likely that many more people will test positive for COVID-19 in the days and weeks to come. . .

“If infected with COVID-19, many of us will have no symptoms, some of us will have mild symptoms that can be managed at home, and very few of us will need medical attention. or hospitalization, ”he told reporters. .

As such, he urged people to prepare at home with a supply of paracetamol or ibuprofen and to have plenty of fluids on hand if they catch the virus.

“It is important to be prepared because you will not be able to go to your supermarket or pharmacy if you are diagnosed with COVID-19,” Professor Kidd said.