Australian most populous state faces new wave of COVID-19

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Xinhua News

5th July 2022 – (Sydney) Health authorities of the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) warned on Tuesday that the state is facing a new wave of COVID-19, urging the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“We are at the beginning of the third wave of Omicron which is likely to peak in late July or early August. This increase in community transmission brings with it greatly increased risks for those not up to date with their vaccines,” said NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard in a statement.

The state health department recorded 10,504 new COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths in the past 24 hours till 4pm Monday. Compared to the state’s COVID-19 figures last week, hospitalisations also grew to 1,782 with an over 200 increase.

Hazzard said the current wave of infections was driven by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, and figures show 56 percent of COVID-related deaths in the state this year were in people who have had two or fewer doses.

“The best way you can protect yourself from serious illness or worse is to get every vaccination that is available to you,” the health minister said.

The warning cited data from Australia’s National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance, which stressed that “fully vaccinated people could get 65 percent greater protection against hospitalisation or death from Omicron than two vaccine doses alone afford.”

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant said in addition to booking in for a booster, people should exercise common sense and wear a face mask in public indoor spaces, where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

“Unless we pull together as one again, this new wave will hit schools and businesses hard, just like BA.1 did, which saw thousands of workers absent.”

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