Australia reports record COVID-19 deaths
Australia reported 77 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, the most it has recorded on a single day during the entire pandemic, according to Reuters.
The country’s previous recored high was 57 deaths.
Australia is dealing with a rise related to the highly-contagious omicron variant, which is sweeping through the country. Hospitalization rates in Australia are on the rise, and more people are in hospitals and the intensive care unit (ICU) than at any time throughout the pandemic, reports Reuters.
According to The New York Times, 1,152 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 on Tuesday in Australia, with 127 people in intensive care, including 43 who needed to be placed on ventilators.
Australia is also suffering from health care worker shortages, as many workers are coming down with the coronavirus themselves.
“We’ve got more than 4,000 health care workers unavailable right now, alongside a vast number of patients with Covid-19 who require hospitalization,” James Merlino, Victoria’s deputy premier, said, as he declared a state of emergency for the Australian state of Victoria, reports the Times.
Australia has been in the next for the last week over its handling of tennis star Novak Djokovic, who is unvaccinated and was blocked from playing in the Australian Open. Djokovic had arrived in Australia believing he’d be able to play with a medical exemption.