Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)
It does not take much for Australians to “get the wobbles” once COVID-19 cases begin to climb. It comes as New South Wales recorded 2,501 cases and no further deaths in the past 24-hour period. The game has changed dramatically, simply fretting over rising infection numbers, which by the way, dropped in NSW today, is simply redundant.
Of the 33 ICU patients in NSW, 26 are unvaccinated. Omicron has ensured that this remains a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and it is no longer the government’s job to protect vaccine objectors. Many believe that maybe the Prime Minister is “getting the jitters” about Omicron infections rising after calling a snap National Cabinet meeting this week but ensured he shouldn’t be “thinking that way” due to Australia’s high vaccination rates.
Australia must move past “the heavy hand of government” and authorities must stop shutting down people’s lives with COVID-19 lockdowns, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, as daily infections in the country shot up to a new pandemic high. COVID-19 cases have been breaking records over the last several days, the surge fuelled by the more transmissible Omicron variant, but Morrison insisted that limiting the spread of the virus comes down to personal responsibility.
Swift lockdowns and strict social distancing rules have helped Australia to keep its COVID-19 numbers relatively low at around 260,000 total cases and 2,154 deaths. But most of the country has been reopening over the last few weeks after higher inoculations despite the threat from the Omicron variant. Authorities are now aiming to ramp up the rollout of booster shots with Morrison urging states to reopen hundreds of immunisation hubs shut down after demand slowed when double-dose rates in people above 16 years topped 80%.
Despite the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said: “only a fraction” of those cases were ending up in hospitals. The number of people in hospitals has been creeping up but remains far lower than during the Delta wave. Around 4,600 cases were reported in Australia on Tuesday, exceeding the previous high of some 4,100 over the weekend. New South Wales, home to Sydney, became the first Australian state to top 3,000 COVID-19 daily infections while neighbouring Victoria logged 1,245 cases. Other states have fewer cases.