Last Updated:

COVID-19: Australia Sees Record Single-day Spike With 32,000 New Cases As Omicron Spreads

New coronavirus cases surged again in Australia on Friday to a record of more than 32,000, just days after crossing 10,000 mark for the first time.

Australia

Image: AP


New coronavirus cases surged again in Australia on Friday to a record of more than 32,000, just days after crossing 10,000 mark for the first time. As per experts, the Associated Press reported that highly contagious novel variant of COVID-19, Omicron and recent loosening of restrictions in Sydney and other regions are driving the growth in number of infections.

While hospitalisations and deaths have increased with the recent surge, they have not yet approached the levels observed in past outbreaks. Moreover, despite the spike in number of cases, many cities celebrated New Year's Eve with Sydney's iconic fireworks show from the Harbor Bridge and Opera House.

Scott Morrison appeared upbeat and optimistic despite soaring number of cases

In Sydney, more than 15,000 new cases were reported. While, another 5,000 cases were recorded in other parts of New South Wales, and around 6,000 cases were confirmed in Victoria, which is home to Melbourne, Australia's second largest city. Authorities anticipated significantly fewer numbers than in pre-pandemic years, when as many as 1 million partygoers crammed into inner Sydney. On the other hand, amid the country's recent natural disasters and rising virus rates, Prime Minister Scott Morrison appeared upbeat and optimistic.

"Despite the pandemic, despite the floods, the fires, continuing drought in some areas, the cyclones, the lockdowns, even mice plagues, Australia is stronger today than we were a year ago. And we're safer," in a New Year's Eve statement, Morrison remarked.

According to him, Australia has one of the lowest death rates and the highest vaccination rates from COVID anywhere in the world. Moreover, in New South Wales state, officials reported six new deaths and 763 patients hospitalisation, including 69 admitted to intensive care. The state hasn't been able to keep up with demand for tests, leaving people to wait for hours.

But state Premier Dominic Perrottet said the health system was coping overall. AP reported quoting Perrottet, "While the case numbers are substantially increasing, compared to where we were with the delta variant, our position remains incredibly strong. Our number one priority here in New South Wales is to keep our people safe and that will continue to be our priority as we move through this next phase."

(With inputs from agencies)

(Image: AP)

First Published: