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More COVID deaths in aged care this year than two preceding years put together

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There have been more COVID-19 deaths in aged care facilities this year than the first two years of the pandemic combined.

Data from the federal health department released this week showed 1088 people in residential aged care died so far in 2022. 

There were a total of 918 deaths in the centres as of December 31, 2021.

Some 28,028 people have contracted COVID-19 in Australian residential aged care centres since the pandemic started.

The federal health department has been contacted for comment.

Meanwhile, NSW has shared 100,000 rapid antigen tests from its state stockpile with Tonga after a request from the island nation.

Linens have also been provided by the Government after 115 hospital beds were donated by Sydney hospitals.

“These resources will take the pressure off the people of Tonga, who are fighting the pandemic while working tirelessly to rebuild after the devastation caused by the tsunami,” Treasurer Matt Kean said.

South Australians began the Easter long weekend with eased COVID-19 restrictions from Friday.

Masks are now only required on passenger transport, planes, indoors at airports, hospitals and community healthcare, residential aged care, disability care facilities and correctional service facilities.

QR check-ins are also only required in hospitals and aged care facilities.

It comes as another 46,693 cases were reported across the country on Friday.

Another 34 COVID-related deaths were recorded, bringing the national death toll since the pandemic started to 6727.ACT Health did not report any figures on Good Friday.

About 97 per cent of Australians aged 16 and over have had at least one vaccine dose, while 95.3 per cent are double-vaccinated.

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