Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Australia COVID numbers hit a peak as Omicron outbreak strains domestic politics

CoronavirusDec 28, 2021 12:35AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A medical worker holds a tray containing antibody blood tests at a pre-departure coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing facility, as countries react to the new coronavirus Omicron variant, outside the international terminal at Sydney Airport i

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australia recorded another record surge in COVID-19 infections on Tuesday as an outbreak of the highly infectious Omicron variant disrupted reopening of the economy, while state leaders argued over domestic border controls.

The country reported 11,264 new cases of the coronavirus in the previous day, according to a Reuters calculation of state figures, once again surpassing its peak of a day earlier, as it grapples with a planned reopening while the new variant rages.

There were five COVID-19 deaths reported, taking the total fatalities to just over 2,200 since the start of the pandemic. Authorities did not specify whether any of the new deaths were related to the Omicron variant.

The Omicron variant, which medical experts say is more transmissible but less virulent than previous strains, began to spread in Australia just as the country got underway with plans to reopen for good after nearly two years of stop-start lockdowns.

With the resumption of rising case numbers - despite a vaccination rate of more than 90% for Australians aged over 16 - the country's state leaders have brought back some containment measures like mandatory mask-wearing and QR code check-ins at public venues.

The rising case numbers have also led to mandatory self-isolation for thousands of workers in the hospitality, entertainment and airline sectors - the sectors worst hit by lockdowns - resulting in cancelled theatre shows, closed restaurants and postponed flights.

The outbreak has also fuelled a resumption of fractious domestic politics which defined much of the pandemic as some states resist calls to remove internal border controls.

New South Wales (NSW), home to Sydney and a third of Australia's 25 million population, called on neighbouring Queensland to shift from mandatory clinical testing at the point of origin to on-the-spot rapid antigen testing for people travelling there.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said a quarter of clinical tests in his state were "tourism tests" for asymptomatic people, bringing huge pressure of the health system, long testing queues and wait times of several days for results.

In one case, a Sydney testing clinic sent incorrect negative test results to 400 COVID-positive people, then prematurely sent 950 people negative results when 486 were actually positive. The bungle was the result of "human error, and when people are under pressure, human errors are more frequent", said Hazzard.

He called on Queensland to scrap mandatory clinical tests immediately, rather than after Jan. 1 as planned, but the Queensland authorities said the policy was working.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath instead said the state would remove another testing rule for interstate arrivals: people arriving in the state would no longer have to take a virus test five days after arriving.

Australia's international border remains effectively closed, but Australian nationals may return without mandatory hotel quarantine and the country has said it would allow certain skilled workers and foreign students in.

Australia COVID numbers hit a peak as Omicron outbreak strains domestic politics
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (2)
Cheryl Burnett
Cheryl Burnett Dec 28, 2021 12:18AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
and still the stocks rise...
William Smith
William Smith Dec 27, 2021 11:18PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
90% vaccinated and Covid cases surging. The Covid vaccine was developed for the Wuhan variant, not Omicron. But there are vaccines that work against Omicron buy big pharma/government controlling agencies collaboration (corruption? ) are stopping their approval even though they've passed phase 3 trials. Criminal.
Tom Hamilton
Tom Hamilton Dec 27, 2021 11:18PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
are you referring to Novavax or something else? Novavax is having a lot of production problems but they have licensed it to others to see if they can make it.
Tom Hamilton
Tom Hamilton Dec 27, 2021 11:18PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
are you referring to Novavax or something else? Novavax is having a lot of production problems but they have licensed it to others to see if they can make it.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email