NSW records six deaths, 34,994 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours to 8pm on January 5, 2022

The number of new COVID-19 cases across NSW has remained relatively stable, with the state recording 34,994 fresh infections in the 24 hours to 8pm on Wednesday - dropping by 60 from the previous day -however the state's death toll has climbed by six.

Hospitalisations increased to 1609 and 131 people were in intensive care.

There are 207,667 active cases across NSW.

NSW Health figures released on Thursday morning showed that 111,231 tests were conducted in the 24 hours to Wednesday night.

Picture: Marina Neil

Picture: Marina Neil

It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday announced concessional access - including for healthcare, pension and DVA card holders - for rapid antigen tests, with those eligible having access to up to 10 tests over three months through pharmacies.

The federal government says the scheme would provide free tests to more than six million people.

Mr Morrison also announced that rapid antigen tests could now be used to confirm positive COVID-19 cases without a PCR test to confirm a diagnosis.

Meanwhile, world number one men's tennis player Novak Djokovic will be sent out of Australia on Thursday, after his visa was cancelled in Melbourne when he arrived for the Australian Open tournament.

Djokovic said he had a COVID-19 vaccination exemption, allowing him to compete in the event, but was detained on arrival.

This story Death toll climbs as NSW records almost 35,000 new cases first appeared on Newcastle Herald.