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Another 33 COVID-19 deaths across Australia

Australia has recorded another 33 COVID-19 deaths.

Western Australia reported three historical COVID-19-related deaths.

A further 22,255 COVID-19 cases were reported in NSW and Victoria recorded 12,314 new infections.

There were 10,984 new cases in Queensland, 7,998 in Western Australia, 6,091 in South Australia, 2,365 in Tasmania, 1,094 in the ACT and 513 in Tasmania.

Some 283 people with the virus are hospitalised in Victoria, including 12 in intensive care units (ICU).

There are 1,437 patients in NSW hospitals, including 48 in ICU; 444 in Queensland hospitals, including 17 in ICU; 210 in South Australian hospitals, including 12 in ICU; 256 in Western Australia hospitals, including eight in ICU; 49 are hospitalised in the ACT, including three in ICU, and 24 people with the virus are hospitalised in the Northern Territory, including one in ICU.

Meanwhile, Australia may soon move away from reporting the total number of people who die from COVID-19 each day.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says it is time for Australia to move towards a concept known as “excess deaths”.

He said in simple terms this is the difference between the number of people expected to die over a period of time, or as a result of an event like a pandemic, and the actual number of deaths recorded.

“On this metric, Australia has performed extremely well throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Professor Kelly told a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday.

“Although every death from COVID-19 is a sad event for family and friends and as a country, this is an outcome we should acknowledge.”

Professor Kelly encouraged Australians to continue to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for the best protection.

Meanwhile, confusion and complacency is causing a large group of Australians to not come forward for their COVID-19 booster, it is claimed.

COVID-19 task force commander Lieutenant General John Frewen said the under-40 age group is lagging behind in booster uptake which is concerning ahead of winter.

Elements of confusion and complacency regarding the booster rollout were a factor.

“It comes down to people being no longer as fearful of Omicron as they were with previous variants,” he said on Wednesday.

A new advertising campaign will be targeted towards the age group ahead of winter to encourage higher uptake.

“It’s really about reminding that age cohort that their social life, their fitness routines, their businesses, all of those things are underpinned by the maximum possible take-up of vaccines, including boosters,” Lieutenant General Frewen said.