A few hours after reporting the highest number of daily infections, Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales, has now recorded its first Omicron-related death.
Australia, on Monday morning, reported more than 10,000 Covid cases for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began. Out of these, 6,324 cases were from New South Wales, with 55 in intensive care among 520 people in hospital.
The first Omicron death was of a local man in his 80s and was fully vaccinated. He, reportedly, had underlying health conditions. “This was the first known death in New South Wales (state) linked to the Omicron variant of concern,” said NSW Health epidemiologist Christine Selvey in a video released by the government.
Australia has been following strict Covid regulations for the past two years, since the coronavirus pandemic took over the world. After almost two years, the country was now inching towards relaxing some restrictions. However, authorities had to soon reimpose all Covid curbs as the new variant started spreading in the country.
Omicron variant, which has been dubbed as the most transmissible variant of coronavirus, has been rapidly spreading through the island country. It is also believed that the increase in cases happened as domestic travel restrictions were lifted and more people were able to return to the state. This, many believe, led to an increase in the number of Covid cases in New South Wales.
The man who became the first victim to be consumed by the Omicron variant was among the six Covid deaths reported in the country on the previous day. Out of these six, this man was the only one who was suffering from Omicron variant of the deadly coronavirus.
However, authorities are not reimposing stricter Covid regulations yet as experts have observed that even with an increase in number of cases, hospitalisation rate has not seen a huge increase. “Although we are seeing increased case numbers… we are not seeing the impacts on our hospital system,” said Annastacia Palaszczuk, premier of Queensland which reported 784 new cases with four people in hospital.
Meanwhile, wearing face mask when stepping outdoors has been made compulsory in New South Wales. In addition to this, from Monday, people can get entry into any public venue only after showing the QR code.
(With inputs from agencies)