The record COVID-19 caseload came as world No.1 Novak Djokovic's inclusion in the Australian Open official draw was announced on Thursday (January 13), although uncertainty remained about whether the government will cancel the top seed's visa for a second time.
After successfully containing the virus earlier in the pandemic, Australia has reported nearly a million cases over the last two weeks as people slowly adjust to living with the coronavirus amid fewer restrictions.
Total infections detected since the pandemic began neared 1.4 million. Net new hospital admissions and people admitted to intensive care are at their highest in the pandemic, but authorities have said the health systems can cope with the rising cases.
Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is weighing exercising his discretionary powers to revoke Djokovic's visa which could scuttle his bid for a record 21st major tennis title at the Open.