Sunday 3 July 2022 03:24 AM Australia records 10,000 Covid-19 deaths as Victoria, Queensland weigh up mask ... trends now
Australia has reached the grim milestone of 10,000 Covid-19 related deaths, with more than 7,000 fatalities reported in the last six months.
Australia has reported 7,755 deaths over the course of 2022, and ticked over the 10,000 mark on Sunday when Victoria and NSW reported its daily death toll, with the nation now losing 10,008 people.
There were also 909 Covid-19 related fatalities in 2020 and 1,344 in 2021.
It comes as the Victorian government debates whether to bring back a mask mandate due to rising case numbers ahead of the November state election.
Australia's Covid death toll has hit 10,000, with more than 7,000 fatalities reported in the past six months (pictured, ICU staff caring for Covid patients at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney)
Australia has reported 7,755 deaths over the course of 2022, taking the country's total to 10,008 (pictured, Sydneysiders)
New South Wales and Victoria recorded 24 Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours, lifting Australia's total number of fatalities over the 10,000 mark.
That number is expected to increase even further as other states and territories disclose their numbers on Sunday.
One infectious disease expert claims the worrying statistics will put Australia at 14,000 deaths by the end of 2022.
'We are going to actually end up with about 14,000 deaths this year from COVID if we keep going at this rate,' Griffith University infectious diseases and immunology program director Nigel McMillan said.
'That will make COVID the number two or number three killer in the country of all causes of deaths.
'Is this what success looks like for Australia in terms of its control of this virus? I would suggest no.'
Prof McMillan said booster uptake is not good enough in states such as Queensland - the lowest in the country - at about 63 per cent.
The state with the highest booster uptake is Western Australia, at 83 per cent, with other states and territories falling somewhere in between.
'We just seem to have become comfortable with the idea that we're stopping vaccine mandates for all sorts of places, we have loosened our mask restrictions,' he said.
'So we have very little in the way of the virus at the moment in terms of (stopping) the virus spreading.'
NSW and Victoria recorded 24 Covid deaths in the last 24 hours. That number is expected to rise as other states and territories disclose their numbers on Sunday. (pictured, Covid-19 testing clinic)
Prof McMillan said booster uptake is not good enough in states such as Queensland - the lowest in the country at about 63 per cent
The surge in deaths and cases led to the Victorian government debating whether to bring back masks.
But Victoria's energy minister Lily D'Ambrosio quickly ruled out a mask mandate despite describing the Covid situation in the state as a matter of 'life or death'.
She insisted the debate over the decision had