Complacency fuels Australian COVID-19 wave: health expert

CANBERRA, May 15 (Xinhua) — Australia’s top health body 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 has reached 7,721, more than 800 more than three weeks ago.

It takes the number of cases recorded so far in May past 500,000 and the number of deaths past 500.

Australia’s per capita infection rate is now one of the highest in the world, with cases expected to peak during the approaching winter.

Chris Moy, vice president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), said freedoms across Australia “come at a price” after nearly two years of strict restrictions.

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

“We’re on top with the very largest case numbers in the world, partly because we didn’t have that many cases before, but the complacency, the freedom comes at a price.”

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

“We really need people who are vaccinated and don’t just rely on the fact that they’ve had COVID before, because if you look at that logically, the concern is of course that at some point there could be an increase in BA4 and BA5,” he said.

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