| 26 September 2022, Monday |

Australia suffers deadliest day of pandemic as omicron drives up hospital cases

On Tuesday, Australia had its bloodiest day of the pandemic, when a fast-moving omicron outbreak pushed hospitalization rates to record highs, despite a minor decrease in daily infections.

Australia is coping with its worst COVID-19 epidemic to far, powered by the omicron version of the coronavirus, which has landed more individuals in hospitals and critical care units than at any other point throughout the pandemic.

Official statistics revealed that 77 people died, breaking the previous national high of 57 set last Thursday.

“Today is a very painful day for our state,” New South Wales (NSW) Premier Dominic Perrottet stated during a press conference after the state reported 36 fatalities, setting a new pandemic high.

Only four of those who died in New South Wales had had their booster injection, leading health authorities to encourage individuals to avoid delays and acquire their third dosage as soon as possible. Thirty-three people received two doses.

“There needs to be a feeling of urgency in accepting the booster dosages,” said Kerry Chant, NSW Chief Health Officer. “We know that the protection for omicron is lesser, and we need that next boosting to reach that greater degree of protection.”

According to an ANZ poll released on Tuesday, the increase in case numbers shook consumer confidence last week, prompting self-imposed lockdowns and restricting spending even as states sought to prevent lockdowns and keep companies open.

According to a highly respected survey released on Tuesday, Omicron has also lowered Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s popularity ratings, placing opposition Labor in the lead months before a federal election.

At response to increased hospitalizations, Victoria declared a “code brown” emergency in hospitals on Tuesday, which gives hospitals the authority to halt non-urgent health services and deny staff leave.

The federal government has triggered a plan for private hospitals to deploy up to 57,000 nurses and more than 100,000 workers to omicron-affected regions around the country to assist public hospitals, according to Health Minister Greg Hunt.

While authorities often do not identify the coronavirus variety that causes mortality, officials have stated that the majority of patients in critical care were infected with the omicron strain, with unprotected young people constituting a “substantial percentage.”

Queensland said none of the 16 people who died in the state on Tuesday had got booster doses. Only one of the 45 patients who had died in the state as a result of COVID-19 since December 13 had gotten their third dosage.

“We know it makes a difference, so please come forward and receive your booster,” state Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.

On Tuesday, around 73,000 new illnesses were detected, down from a peak of 150,000 last Thursday. Since the pandemic began, Australia has recorded around 1.6 million illnesses, of which approximately 1.6 million are fatal.

  • AFP