Daily Management Review

First Omicron Related Death Reported From Australia


First Omicron Related Death Reported From Australia
Despite another spike in daily infections, Australia's first recorded death from the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 was announced on Monday. However, regulators resisted implementing new restrictions, claiming that hospitalization rates remained low. 
The death of the man, who was in his 80s and had underlying health issues, was a somber turning point for the country, which had to halt some areas of a staged reopening after nearly two years of stop-start lockdowns due to the new outbreak.
Omicron, which health experts say is more contagious but less virulent than previous strains, spread across Australia just as the government eased restrictions on most domestic borders and allowed Australians to return from overseas without quarantine, resulting in the pandemic's highest case numbers.
The officials provided no further information about the Omicron death other than to mention that the guy contracted the virus in an aged care facility and died in a Sydney hospital.
"This was the first known death in New South Wales (state) linked to the Omicron variant of concern," said NSW Health epidemiologist Christine Selvey in a video released by the government.
The deceased person was one of six Covid-19 deaths that were reported in Australia the day before, all of which happened in the country's most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, which account for more than half of the country's 25 million residents.
On Monday, the states of New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland reported a total of 9,107 new Covid-19 cases, putting the country on track for another spike in new infections. The five other states and territories had yet to provide daily case count information.
"Although we are seeing increased case numbers... we are not seeing the impacts on our hospital system," said Annastacia Palaszczuk, premier of Queensland which reported 784 new cases with four people in hospital.
With accounts of people having to wait for six hours for Covid-19 testing so that they could meet standards for interstate vacation travel, Palaszczuk justified the tourism-friendly state's policy, saying "everyone understood when they purchased a ticket that if they wanted to come here they would have to undergo a PCR test."
"We need to make sure that we're protecting (Queenslanders)," she said.
In the face of rising case numbers, Australian authorities have so far avoided a reintroduction of lockdowns, but have imposed some limitations. NSW made it essential to check into public events via QR codes again on Monday, and many jurisdictions have reinstated required mask wear in indoor public spaces.