Sydney COVID-19 cases may hit peak next week

The epicentre of Australia's biggest coronavirus outbreak, Sydney, is expected to see daily infections peak next week.

That's according to government modelling.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday said the rise in numbers would put pressure on the system and intensive care beds:

"The most important numbers for us to look at are keeping a keen eye on that ICU capacity, because we know that surge capacity with staff -- we have two thousand ventilators -- but when you are talking about beds themselves with staff and experts we have 1,550 surge capacity, which we hope we won't use."

Currently nearly 180 people are in ICU in NSW and over 1000 COVID-19 cases in the state.

But daily cases in Sydney's worst-affected suburbs are expected to rise to as high as 2,000 until the middle of October.

Despite the recent outbreaks, Australia's coronavirus numbers have remained relatively low.

The country is trying to speed up its immunisations and last week, Australia entered into a vaccine swap with Britain and Singapore, securing around 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, double this month's supply.

Authorities have pledged more freedom of movement, including opening of state borders, once 70% to 80% of the population aged over 16 is vaccinated.

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