First Omicron Death Reported in Australia

First Omicron Death Reported in Australia. 

Australia on Monday announced the first confirmed death due to the brand-new Omicron variant of COVID-19, amid another increase in daily infections. 

However, authorities did not impose new restrictions, saying that hospitalization rates were relatively low.

The man’s death, in his 80s, suffering from underlying health issues, was a sad day for the nation that is forced to stop portions of a planned opening after two years of lockdowns that prevented the start because of the new epidemic.

Omicron is a strain of omicron that health experts claim is more contagious. But it is less harmful than other strains discovered to be spreading across the nation. 

At the same time, it lifted the restrictions on most national borders and permitted Australians to return from their travels without quarantine, pushing cases up to the top of the strains.

Authorities did not provide any additional information about this Omicron death, other than to mention that the man contracted the virus in an old care facility and later died in the 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 public video released by the federal government.

The man was one of six COVID-19 deaths reported in Australia on the same day, which all occurred in the two states with the highest population of NSW and Victoria that comprise more than half of the country’s 25 million inhabitants.

NSW, Victoria, and Queensland states reported a total of 9,107 new cases reported on Monday, putting the nation in the midst of another high in the number of new infections. 

The other five states and territories have not reported daily cases.

“Although we are seeing increased case numbers… we are not seeing the impacts on our hospital system,” said Annastacia Palaszczuk, premier of Queensland that has reported 784 new cases, with four patients admitted to hospitals.

There are reports of six-hour wait times for COVID tests for those who hope to meet requirements for traveling interstate for holidays. 

The Palaszczuk administration had defended the tourism-friendly state’s mandatory testing requirements. But, it said, “everyone knew when they booked a ticket that if they wanted to come here, they would have to do a PCR test.”