Berejiklian: ‘Obvious protection’ of COVID vaccines has kept hospitalisations low

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the "obvious protection" provided by COVID-19 vaccines has kept the rate of hospitalisations low despite the pandemic placing increasing strain on the state’s health system.

107 of the 608 cases in hospital are currently in ICU with the premier telling reporters the latest figures indicated only 5.5 per cent of those infected required hospitalisation.

Ms Berejiklian said hospitals are “coping very well” despite admitting the system is “stressed”.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic. There is no doubt the system is stretched but you’d expect that but it’s coping very well under the circumstances,” she said.

“All the advice I’m receiving is that the system is coping well, that the system is working as one network, that people are really chipping in across our different local area health districts to support one another.

“When we started the pandemic, nearly two years ago now, or at the beginning of the pandemic, we quadrupled our intensive care capacity. We’re nowhere near needing that.

“The hospitalisation rate is very, very low and that’s because a lot of people who have the vaccine are protected from being in … which is why some time ago, Dr Chant and I said let’s get vaccinated, increase the rates of vaccination, because that’s an obvious protection.

“Those scary numbers don’t have to come to fruition if the majority of our population is vaccinated.