Australia : Deadliest day of the pandemic
Australia on Tuesday suffered its deadliest day of the pandemic as a fast moving Omicron outbreak continued to push up hospitalisation rates to record levels, even as daily infections eased slightly. A total of 74 deaths were registered by late morning between New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, Australia’s three most populous states, exceeding the previous national high of 57 last Thursday, official data showed.
Amid rising hospitalisations, Victoria on Tuesday declared a “code brown” in hospitals, typically reserved for shorter-term emergencies, that would give hospitals the power to cancel non-urgent health services and cancel staff leave.
While authorities usually do not specify the coronavirus variant that leads to deaths, officials have said most patients in intensive care were infected with the Omicron strain, with unvaccinated young people forming a “significant number”.
Acting minister for health, James Merlino, told reporters it was the first time authorities saw the need to introduce a code brown across the state, which will affect all public metropolitan and major regional hospitals from midday on Wednesday.