Article by: Hari Yellina
As the Omicron subvariant takes hold, the number of new coronavirus cases in New South Wales has increased significantly compared to last week. On Thursday, a stark 24,803 new cases were reported in the state. A total of eight deaths have been reported. Currently, 1180 people are being treated for the virus in hospitals, with 43 of them in intensive care. The state had slightly over 20,000 new cases of the virus at the same time previous week. The Omicron subvariant BA.2, which has caused a new generation of infections across the country, has been blamed for the recent surge in cases. According to NSW Health, “the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) is currently the prevalent COVID-19 variant of concern circulating in the NSW community.”
“Both main Omicron sub-lineages (BA.1 and BA.2) are circulating in NSW, with BA.2’s share growing in recent weeks.” Queensland health officials attributed a 15% increase in case numbers in the last week to the rapid spread of the BA.2 variant among young individuals, while Victorian health officials observed the subvariant was showing up in half of the state’s wastewater tests last week. Victoria has also seen an increase in cases, with over 10,000 new infections recorded for two days in a row. The 2 variations are affecting the majority of capital cities.
“After we lifted limitations, infection rates continued to drop, so (the increase in cases) is not because we eased limits; it’s because BA.2 is now circulating,” she explained. “With the increase in cases that we’re witnessing all across the world, this variation is quickly becoming the most prevalent.” However, the good news is that death rates are continuing to fall over the world. “We’re fighting to keep these highly contagious varieties from spreading, but we’re thankfully not experiencing the same consequences in terms of the number of individuals who end up in hospitals.” “People are still becoming ill as a result of this, and people are dying as a result of these variants, so we must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread of the virus so that those who are more vulnerable can continue to breathe easily.”