Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday that his country’s health system could deal with a new wave of coronavirus infections as the state of Victoria reported a record number of new cases and hospitalizations in New South Wales.
Morrison spoke in two television interviews before the figures were released on Monday.
Victoria reported 8,577 new cases, a record for the state, which peaked at 7,442 on New Year’s Day.
New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, saw a slight drop in the number of cases from a record 22,577 on Saturday to 20,794 on Monday. However, the number of people in the hospital has increased from 1,066 the previous day to 1,204. There were 95 people in intensive care, up from 12 the day before.
Speaking to the Seven Network, Prime Minister Morrison said Australia’s healthcare system was well equipped to deal with the growing number of cases caused by the proliferation of Omicron variants.
It is important to note that with the growing number of cases, we are seeing that the severity of this illness is already showing about 75 percent less than what we have seen with Delta, Morrison said. The growing number of cases is part of the Omicron period, it was part of a new episode of the epidemic.
This does not mean that it cannot put pressure on the hospital system. It could and that is why (the state) was working very closely with the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers to make sure that the resources are there, “Morrison added.
Morrison said the federal government will take steps to ensure the hospital has the necessary resources to cope with the growing admissions. His government last week changed the definition of close contact so that health workers can come into contact with active cases without having to be isolated and return to work.
“We want to make more changes this week to get more staff back to our hospital and to address the need,” Morrison told 9News.
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