Australia’s New South Wales returns to some COVID-19 restrictions amid cases spike

Australia reports over 78,000 cases, highest single-day infections since outbreak.

ANKARA (AA) – Australia’s most populous state New South Wales on Friday announced to bring back some COVID-19 restrictions as the country recorded the highest daily infections.

The country reported over 78,000 new cases during the past 24 hours, for the first time since the pandemic outbreak in early 2020, bringing the caseload to 763,854, along with 2,301 related deaths, while New South Wales registered 38,625 infections, Victoria 21,728, and Queensland 10,953, according to ABC News.

In a statement, the state’s premier, Dominic Perrottet, said a range of precautionary measures are taken to provide support to the health system and community ahead of an anticipated peak in coronavirus cases later this month.

“We’re dealing with a highly transmissible variant but fortunately it appears to be a much less severe form of COVID-19 and our high vaccination rates are clearly helping keep people safe,” Perrottet said.

Under the new restrictions, from Jan. 8 to 27, the state government banned singing and dancing in hospitality venues, including pubs, clubs, nightclubs, bars, restaurants, entertainment facilities, and major recreation facilities.

However, the wedding ceremonies, performers, students, and instructors would be exempt from these restrictions.

The government also made booster doses compulsory for those who are already mandated to get vaccinated and advised people to avoid large household gatherings and stay seated in hospitality venues.

“To alleviate pressure on the hospital system and staff, we’re extending the usual holiday suspension of non-urgent elective surgery through February and will utilize private hospital capacity where needed, as we did during the alpha and delta outbreaks,” said the premier.

Australia has so far fully vaccinated 91.9% of people aged 16 and above, while 94.6% of the population have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Health Ministry.


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