Worst Day Since Outbreak: Australia Reports 77 COVID-19 Deaths

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Australia reported 77 new deaths from the COVID-19 on the 18th, the highest number of deaths in Australia since the outbreak. This is related to the rapid spread of the mutant COVID-19 Omicron in Australia, resulting in a large increase in hospitalizations and severe cases.

Official data showed that the number of new deaths that day was significantly higher than the previous record of 57 reported on the 13th. Although it did not say which strain the new deaths were infected with, health officials said that the majority of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units across the country are now infected with Omicron, and a “significant number” of them are young people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Of the new deaths, 36 were in NSW. It was also the highest single-day death toll in Australia’s most populous state. “Today is a very difficult day for our state,” Gov. Dominic Perrottet said at a news conference.

NSW health officials said 33 of the new deaths in the area had received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including four who received a booster shot. The state’s chief health officer, Kerri Chant, called on the public to have a “sense of urgency” to get a booster shot “to increase (the vaccine’s) protection.”

Of the 16 new deaths reported in Queensland on the 18th, no one had received a booster shot.

Another populous state, Victoria, announced on the 18th that hospitals across the state had entered a “code brown” state. This is typically used for short-lived emergencies, where hospitals can cancel non-emergency medical services and prevent employees from taking time off.

To alleviate the shortage of manpower in public hospitals, the Australian federal government has started to mobilize medical staff in private hospitals to support areas severely affected by the epidemic, hoping to recruit 57,000 nurses and more than 100,000 staff.

The Australian health department reported on the 18th that there were about 73,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, a significant decrease from the 150,000 reported on the 13th. There are about 1.6 million confirmed cases nationwide, 1.3 million of which occurred in the past two weeks; a total of 2,776 deaths.