Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing pressure for his handling of the Omicron wave in an election year.
He has committed to “push through” the outbreak as he plans to ease isolation rules for asymptomatic workers in key sectors.
PM Morrison told a media briefing in Canberra:
“Omicron is a gear change and we have to push through. You’ve got two choices here: you can push through or you can lock down. We are for pushing through.”
COVID-19 infections are at near record levels especially caused by the Omicron variant.
Australia has reported about 1.1 million cases since the pandemic began.
Recently, Ambulance Union’s Olga Bartasek told media that they were forced to declare a code red in Victoria.
“Certainly, code red is only ever reserved for … things like thunderstorm asthma or the bush fires.”
However, this time it was was due to the the high number of call requests than ambulances available.
Victoria’ Acting Premier Jacinta Allan said that it showed the “unprecedented challenges” the health system faced in the wake of the pandemic.
“Code red circumstances do happen from time to time both as a consequence of the pandemic but indeed other events, either natural disasters or other events that are going on in the community at that given time.”
The premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, told a media briefing:
“There is significant pressure in our health system.”
He added that about 4,000 hospital and 400 ambulance staff in the state were isolating due to virus protocols.
More than 4,000 people are in hospital with COVID-19 and the number of patients in ICU are also slowly on the rise.