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  • Australia reports 15 more virus deaths

    Author: AAP

Australia has recorded a further 15 COVID-related deaths and more than 32,000 new virus cases.

NSW reported 9303 infections and five fatalities on Sunday, while there were 7654 new cases and seven deaths in Victoria, two deaths in South Australia and one in Tasmania.

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There are almost 330,000 active coronavirus cases nation-wide. More than 3000 patients are in hospital, around 150 of them in intensive care.

Under continued stress, Ambulance Victoria is fast-tracking the recruitment of new officers, with a hundred hitting the road so far this year and 120 more starting this month on top of 700 new officers in 2021.

Between January and March this year, the service was called to 93,234 emergency cases, breaking the record set the previous quarter and making it the busiest in the state's history.

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"This recruitment drive continues ... to help get more ambulances on the road and to patients quicker," acting chief executive Libby Murphy says.

"Our lives may be returning to normal but the extraordinary strain on our hardworking paramedics and the entire health system persists."

Meanwhile two non-COVID hospital wards in Tasmania are closed with positive patients detected at the Royal Hobart and Hobart Repatriation hospitals.

Non-COVID admissions and visitors have been excluded, except on compassionate grounds, with contact tracing being undertaken.

Western Australia has scrapped quarantine for asymptomatic close contacts, dumped gathering limits, abolished G2G travel passes and removed vaccine requirements for interstate travellers.

But workplace vaccination mandates remain, meaning the unvaccinated are still banned in most industries.

South Australia has also scrapped close contact isolation rules.

LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA:

NSW: 9303 cases, five deaths, 1604 in hospital, 75 in ICU

Victoria: 7654 cases, seven deaths, 437 in hospital, 30 in ICU

Queensland: 5333 cases, no deaths, 446 in hospital, 14 in ICU

ACT: 823 cases, no deaths, 69 in hospital, three in ICU

Western Australia: 5551 cases, no deaths, 221 in hospital, seven in ICU

Northern Territory: 279 cases, no deaths, 50 in hospital, one in ICU

South Australia: 3070 cases, two deaths, 229 in hospital, 16 in ICU

Tasmania: 816 cases, one death, 43 in hospital, three in ICU

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