Covid-19 cases surge in Australia's New South Wales as curbs eased

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) – Australia’s most populous state has recorded its highest daily Covid-19 infection tally in more than two months as the authorities battle the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

This is even as New South Wales readies to remove almost all restrictions.

The state recorded 804 new virus infections in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday (Dec 13), a 50 per cent jump from the day before, officials said in statement on Tuesday.

It is the largest tally since Oct 2, when its largest city Sydney was in the midst of a months-long lockdown to combat the Delta variant.

The surge in cases comes as the authorities now also battle outbreaks of the Omicron variant that has spread at mass gatherings in pubs and nightclubs in Sydney and Newcastle.

The state is set to remove just about all restrictions apart from a handful of measures, including mask-wearing on public transport, on Wednesday, when 95 per cent of its adult population is projected to be completely vaccinated.

While the spike in infections is a concern as the nation enters its main summer holiday season starting from Christmas, the health authorities say their focus has turned from case numbers to hospitalisation rates from the virus.

In New South Wales, about 168 people are in hospital with Covid-19, 21 of whom need intensive care.

Hospitalisations in the state have fallen from a peak of almost 1,300 in mid-September as the nation’s vaccination programme has gathered pace.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Victoria state – which includes Melbourne – has also found suppressing its latest outbreak a challenge, with daily infections hovering around 1,200.

More on this topic

Join ST’s Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

Source: Read Full Article