COVID-19 has expanded further in Australia’s newest wave, with a 51% increase equal to more than 60,000 cases since last week, according to state and territory reports.
It has caused health officials across the country to issue an urgent plea for individuals to renew their cleanliness and preventative measures in order to lower their chance of contracting SARS-CoV-2 illness.
Professor Paul Kelly, Australia’s chief medical officer, stated this week that the high increase in cases reported in last Friday’s weekly report was caused by the XBB and BQ.1 sublineages of the Omicron strain.
Moreover, despite the fact that many Australians have been infected with either of the ancestral, Delta, or Omicron forms, these novel sublineages have shown substantial immune evasion.
“The overseas experience is that these new variants have driven increases in case numbers – and hospitalisations at a rate proportionate to these increases – because of their ability to evade the immunity provided by prior infection and vaccination,” Kelly says.
“It’s therefore timely to focus on the actions we can all take to reduce the threat of these new variants.”
Australia has removed the legal requirement to isolate for five days after testing positive for COVID-19, but as experts have observed, this does not mean a person should be mobile in the community if they have tested positive.
Kelly flagged the importance of remaining up-to-date with vaccines, which now include bivalent products based on the original and Omicron strains, as well as mask-wearing, (The P2 or N95 respirator mask is considered the most effective option) and social isolation if infected with the virus.
Other state authorities have listed recommendations for people to successfully navigate the current wave, which we have detailed below.