CANBERRA, Australia — Australia’s peak 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 up from 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 among the highest in the world, with an expected spike in cases during the looming winter.
Chris Moy, vice president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), said that freedoms across Australia after almost two years of strict restrictions have “a price.”
“Across Australia we are getting about 40,000 cases a day, and there are 350,000 people with Covid at any moment … and 3,000 people in hospital,” he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio.
“We are up there with the very largest case numbers in the world, partly because we didn’t have so many cases earlier but the complacency, the freedom has a price.”
Moy said that with new Omicron variants continuing to emerge Australians could not rely on previous infection for immunity.
“We really need people vaccinated and not just relying on the fact that they may have had Covid previously, because obviously if you look at that logically the concern is there could be a surge from BA4 and BA5 at some stage,” he said.