LATEST COVID-19 DEVELOPMENTS:
* NSW's top doctor has declared Sydney's virus outbreak “a national emergency”, after the number of new locally acquired cases in the state spiked to heights not seen since the first wave.
* One death and 136 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 were reported in NSW, almost four weeks after Greater Sydney and its surrounds were locked down to suppress the virus.
* The death of an 89-year-old man takes the NSW tally to 62 and the national death toll to 916.
* Stricter local lockdown orders will also be expanded to those living or working in the Cumberland and Blacktown local government areas of Sydney in line with orders already imposed on residents in the Liverpool and Fairfield districts.
* Emergency Pfizer vaccine supplies will not be rushed to Sydney's coronavirus hot spots from other states despite outbreak-high new cases. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had appealed for extra doses to vaccinate younger people in the worst-affected suburbs but Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not commit to the request after Friday's national cabinet meeting.
* However young workers in Sydney's most COVID-hit areas look set to get accelerated access to first doses of the Pfizer vaccine – which could delay second doses being rolled out.
* Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews called for a “ring of steel” to be established around COVID-hit Sydney to avoid more lockdowns in other states, but his request was not heeded following a national cabinet meeting.
* Mr Morrison said the proposal was raised during the national cabinet meeting but argued stay-home rules were enough to keep the virus at bay.
* Victoria reported 14 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, all linked to known outbreaks. Ten of those cases were in quarantine for their entire infectious period.
* Year 12s in Victoria will get special consideration for their final VCE scores due to another year of virus lockdowns and HSC students in NSW will have extra time to prepare for their major projects and exams, with the education board delaying assessments amid lockdown.
* Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid on Friday called on the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation to recommend the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine be used in wider age groups.
* A flight attendant who crewed six flights in Queensland while she had the Delta strain of coronavirus also spent time at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast. This could plunge the state into another lockdown if tests show the QantasLink attendant spread COVID-19 to any of the centres she visited.
* Australian children as young as 12 could start to receive coronavirus vaccines this year after Pfizer was given the initial nod for those under 16.
* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has popped the trans-Tasman travel bubble with Australia and urged Kiwis to come home. The quarantine-free travel arrangements will be suspended for at least eight weeks from 10pm AEST on Friday.
* Pregnant women are now on the priority list for Pfizer vaccines after Australia's expert medical advisory group told a Senate committee they are now included in phase 1B of the vaccine rollout.
* An inquiry has heard federal parliament can safely sit in August without it being a COVID-spreading event, if health guidelines are closely followed. MPs and senators are due to return to Canberra on August 3 for parliamentary sittings, which run for most of the month.
* Overwhelmed by requests for help, scarcity of donations and difficulty attracting volunteers during COVID-19, Australian charities are facing a “perfect storm”.
* A health department probe into a crew of NSW removalists who triggered Victoria's Delta coronavirus outbreak is poised to be handed over to police.
AUSTRALIAN VACCINATION NUMBERS:
* There have been 10,850,993 doses administered in the national COVID-19 vaccination rollout up to Thursday, including 196,430 in the previous 24 hours.
* Those figures are made up of 7,642,984 first doses (37.07 per cent of Australians 16 and over) and 3,182,918 second doses (15.44 per cent).
* Of the total, 6,132,819 have been administered by the Commonwealth, including 116,033 in the previous 24 hours.
* 4,718,174 have been administered by the states and territories, including 80,397 in the previous 24 hours.
* 1,474,851 have been administered in Victoria (+21,693), 1,284,474 in NSW (+25,610), 827,724 in Queensland (+13,308), 436,697 in Western Australia (+8133), 344,327 in South Australia (+6676), 148,375 in Tasmania (+1636), 118,758 in the ACT (+2266) and 82,968 in the NT (+1075).
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
* Australia reported 152 local cases on Friday: 136 in NSW, 14 in Victoria, one in South Australia and one in Queensland.
* There were eight new overseas-acquired cases in hotel quarantine: Five in NSW, two in Queensland, one in South Australia.
* The national death toll is 916: Victoria 820, NSW 62, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 7, SA 4, ACT 3 (Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states).
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
* Cases: at least 192,578,206
* Deaths: at least 4,135,859
* Vaccine doses administered: at least 3,752,675,416
Data current as at 1730 AEST on July 23, taking in federal and state/territory government updates and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre figures.