Deaths spike not unexpected: key adviser

Chief nursing officer Alison McMillan says the recent spike in COVID-19 deaths was expected.
Chief nursing officer Alison McMillan says the recent spike in COVID-19 deaths was expected.

Australia's COVID-19 deaths are continuing to climb through the Omicron outbreak despite hospitalisation and intensive care numbers dropping.

But chief nursing officer Alison McMillan says that fits the pattern seen throughout the pandemic and is of no specific concern.

"We are seeing as we anticipated ... a reduction in the number of hospitalisations, the number of people in intensive care and and those requiring ventilation," she said.

"But as we've seen during the two years of this pandemic ... there is a delay in the number of deaths and suddenly we've seen quite a number of deaths reported."

Victoria recorded 39 COVID deaths on Friday, while NSW had 35.

Professor McMillan, who stressed "these are not just numbers", said deaths were occurring over a wide range of circumstances.

"These numbers are ... across a range of ages. Obviously, those with chronic disease, the elderly are more susceptible," she said.

"But that's not solely who is sadly passing away ... Omicron and COVID can take victims across the entire population."

Australian Associated Press