Bars, parties drive COVID-19 cases in Australia to record levels – archyde

“Case numbers are no longer the metric … the real measure is what it means for serious illness (critical care), hospitalizations and pressures on the hospital system,” Morrison said during a media briefing on Friday.

He said early signs suggest the Omicron variant might be less severe than other variants.

At least 97 cases, including some potential Omicron cases, were discovered in people attending the Taylor Swift-themed party.

More than 600 people who checked in at the venue were required to self-test and self-isolate, but officials said there could have been more guests.

A record 3,820 cases were reported in Australia on Friday, with the majority in the most populous states of New South Wales (NSW) and Victoria beating the previous high of around 3,400 the day before.

NSW authorities have warned that daily cases in the state could reach 25,000 by the end of January, with authorities aiming to hasten the introduction of booster vaccinations to ward off the threat posed by the Omicron strain.

Health officials blamed pub and club gatherings for the “rapid rise” in cases. “Some of these have caused super-spread,” said Jeremy McAnulty, NSW health officer.

Meanwhile, neighboring Victoria is on high alert after an Omicron infected person visits a busy Melbourne pub and hotel.

Australia has reported around 243,000 cases and 2,134 deaths since the pandemic began.


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