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Coronavirus NSW Update: NSW sees a drop in COVID-19 cases, recording 48,768 infections

New South Wales has reported another 48,768 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, a substantial decline from yesterday's 63,018.

Twenty people have died after testing positive to the virus.

There are 2576 people in hospital and 193 people in ICU, a slight rise from yesterday's hospitalisation numbers.

Of today's positive results, 21,748 were reported from rapid antigen tests (RAT) and 27,020 were from PCR tests.

NSW Health said of the 21,748 positive RAT results, 15,925 of these positive tests were from the previous seven days.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said today there is "an epidemic of the unvaccinated in young people".

"We are seeing that in intensive care admissions," he said.

Professor Kelly warned Australia has not yet reached the peak of Omicron cases despite epidemiologists claiming NSW is close to the peak.

Professor Kelly said he is seeing ICU admissions who are young unvaccinated Australians
Professor Kelly said he is seeing ICU admissions who are young unvaccinated Australians (9News)

"For most of the rest of Australia we are still on that upward curve, we may be plateauing and then there is a downswing of cases after that," he said.

"We are not through it yet."

"I think there are still going to be large numbers of cases diagnosed in Australia over the next few weeks."

However, Professor Robert Booy told Today NSW is close to reaching the peak of Omicron cases.

"We are getting close to the top of our swing in terms of numbers in NSW and Victoria, we will probably peak within the next one to two weeks," he said.

"But the hospitalisations will peak in February because they come about two weeks after cases."

Traffic marshals direct cars at a drive-through COVID-19 testing clinic at Bondi Beach in Sydney. (AP)

It was predicted that NSW would reach a peak of 4700 people in hospital by the end of January.

Instead, yesterday there were 2525 people in hospital with COVID-19.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said yesterday in terms of hospitalisations and ICU admissions, the health system was outstripping even the most optimistic modelling.

"So that is encouraging, reassuring and pleasing," he said.

Mr Perrottet said the health system was nonetheless under pressure.

"It is going to be a difficult few weeks ahead but the tracking that we are releasing today is very reassuring and encouraging given where we sit today in the pandemic."

Coles Eastgardens

How Australia faced the emergence of the Omicron variant

NSW Health confirmed 995 of its 170,000 workforce have resigned or been sacked after refusing the vaccine.

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