Companies in Australia urged to work remotely
The call was made by Health Minister Mark Butler, who said the recent Omicron wave, coupled with a spike in influenza cases, has put increased pressure on the hospital system.
“As of today (July 19), there are more than 5,200 Australians in hospital with COVID,” Butler said. “We are seeing hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Australians infected every single week in this wave.”
The increase in numbers has led Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly to call on “employers to allow work from home if feasible” and consider mask wearing during the winter Omicron wave.
Kelly said, “We are at the start of this wave, not the end. We cannot stop this wave of infections, but we can slow the spread and protect the vulnerable. We have done this before, and we can do it again.”
Kelly said the new Omicron variant, BA.5, is a “significant threat” and is causing the surge in infections.
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“It’s much more infectious than earlier variants. It’s also very good at escaping immunity, whether that is from a previous infection, so you can get re-infected with this particular variant,” he said, according to 9News.