MELBOURNE: Thousands of Australian kids returned to school on Monday (Jan 31) after a summer holiday, as the country remains concerned about the spread of COVID-19, which killed at least 88 people in Australia on Sunday.
Although some schools resumed last week, the majority will reopen on Monday, with many asking pupils to take tests twice a week.
Infections have increased in Australia since December, the start of summer in the southern hemisphere, thanks to the fast-spreading Omicron variety.
In the country, there have now been 2 million COVID-19 instances. Australia, a country of 25 million people, had only documented 400,000 cases since the pandemic began two years ago.
More than 700 people have died of COVID-19 this year in New South Wales, the country’s most populous state with an 8 million population. More than 3,700 individuals died in Australia as a result of the pandemic.
“The single most essential thing, and I can’t emphasize this enough, if we can roll out our booster program, lift that uptake of boosters,” Kerry Chant, the state’s chief health officer, said on Sunday, predicting additional deaths.
COVID-19 claimed the lives of at least 88 people in Australia on Sunday. The death rate has recently risen substantially, but it is still a fraction of what other wealthy countries have seen.
Australia has immunized more than 93% of its adult population twice. Almost 8 million people have received more than two.
The premier of Victoria state, Dan Andrews, warned on Sunday that all Australians may soon need to be triple-dosed to be considered completely vaccinated.
“I believe it’s just a matter of time before the appropriate government agencies affirm that this is three dosages, not two plus a bonus,” Andrews said.