Australian leaders warn of back-to-school Covid spike


Canberra, Jan 27 : Australians have been warned to brace for a spike in Covid-19 infections when schools return from the summer holidays. The Premiers and Chief Ministers on Thursday held a National Cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison to discuss Australia's outbreak of the Omicron wave of Covid. According to the Australian Associated Press (AAP), the leaders told the meeting that they are expecting a jump in case numbers when schools reopen from Monday. There were more than 40,000 new cases reported across Australia on Thursday and more than 70 deaths, according to health department figures from states and territories, Xinhua news agency reported. Department of Health data revealed there were 5,227 cases being treated in hospitals in the country on Wednesday, including 372 in intensive care units, 144 of which were on ventilators. In the state of South Australia, Premier Steven Marshall declared the state has passed its Omicron peak, when over 5,000 cases were reported daily in mid-January. The figure on Thursday reached 1,953 new cases and 100 deaths. In Australian Capital Territory, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said in a media release on Thursday that all school-based staff and students will be provided with two Rapid Antigen Tests per week for the first four weeks of Term 1. /IANS


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