Complacency drives COVID-19 surge in Australia: health expert

CANBERRA, May 15 (Xinhua) — Australia’s top health agency has warned that coronavirus cases will continue to rise due to community complacency.

Australia reported more than 50,000 new COVID-19 infections for three consecutive days between Wednesday and Friday, and as of Friday, the death toll reached 7,721, more than 800 more than three weeks ago.

The number of cases recorded so far in May exceeds 500,000 and the number of deaths exceeds 500.

Australia’s per capita infection rate is now among the highest in the world, with a spike in cases expected over the coming winter.

Chris Moy, deputy chairman of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), said the freedoms in Australia after nearly two years of tight restrictions come at “a price”.

“Across Australia we are getting around 40,000 cases a day, and there are 350,000 people with COVID at any given time… and 3,000 people in hospital,” he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio.

“We’re up there with the largest number of cases in the world, in part because we didn’t have as many cases before, but complacency, freedom comes at a price.”

Moy said that with new Omicron variants continuing to emerge, Australians cannot rely on prior infection for immunity.

“We really need people to get vaccinated and not just rely on the fact that they may have had COVID before, because obviously, if you look at it logically, the concern is that there could be an increase in BA4 and BA5 at some point,” he said.

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