Tuesday
August, 16

Australians Urged To Work From Home As Omicron Wave Surges

A massive coronavirus outbreak prompted officials to urge businesses to permit employees to work from home and to advise people to wear masks indoors and obtain booster doses right away. On Wednesday, the number of Australians admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 was approaching record levels.

In the past seven days, more than 300,000 cases of the highly transmissible novel sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 have been reported in Australia, which is currently experiencing a third omicron wave. The actual number of cases may be double that, according to the authorities, and Wednesday’s 53,850 new cases marked the highest daily total in two months.

Despite urging people to wear masks indoors, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is defying calls to re-institute strict restrictions to stop the illness’ spread.

“The truth is that if you have mandates, you’ve got to enforce them,” Albanese told reporters on Wednesday. “Whilst there are mandates on public transport … not everyone is wearing a mask.”

As unions urged employers to do more for their employees, Albanese stated that any work-from-home solution must be decided upon jointly by employers and employees.

According to Michele O’Neil, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, employers must go above and beyond the government’s pandemic leave payments by offering paid leave at full pay for employees who need to isolate as well as free quick antigen tests.

“No worker should have to decide between putting food on the table or isolating with COVID,” O’Neil said.

READ MORE: SA’s Ramaphosa To Face Summon Over Phala Phala Farm Scandal

Australia restored assistance payments last week for temporary employees who must stay in quarantine.

Paul Kelly, chief medical officer for Australia, forecast that the number of patients ending up in hospitals will soon reach a record high and he urged employers to permit more employees to work from home.

Authorities have warned that Australia might experience “millions” of new cases in the upcoming weeks.

According to official data, there are currently 5,350 Australians in hospitals with COVID-19, which is not far from the record 5,390 patients hospitalized with BA.1 in January. Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia have already experienced their greatest pandemic-related numbers.

The health system is already under strain due to the large number of sick or isolated frontline healthcare professionals.

According to Australian doctors, masks must be required in indoor settings.“We don’t have optional seat belts, we don’t have optional speed limits. There’s a lot of limits on our freedoms that we accept because it’s the right thing to do,” Australian Medical Association President Omar Khorshid told radio station 2GB.

Authorities have also expressed concern over a delay in booster vaccinations.

95 percent of adults over 16 have received two doses so far, which has helped limit Australia’s overall COVID-19 cases under 9 million and its COVID-19 deaths at 10,884, much below many other nations. However, only 71% of people have had three or more doses.

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Adoga Stephen
Adoga Stephen is a trained journalist, researcher, creative writer and freelancer. He studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State University of Science and Technology (then Laspotech) and acquired requisite skills for the practice of journalism, a profession he has been practicing since 2016.

A massive coronavirus outbreak prompted officials to urge businesses to permit employees to work from home and to advise people to wear masks indoors and obtain booster doses right away. On Wednesday, the number of Australians admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 was approaching record levels.

In the past seven days, more than 300,000 cases of the highly transmissible novel sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 have been reported in Australia, which is currently experiencing a third omicron wave. The actual number of cases may be double that, according to the authorities, and Wednesday’s 53,850 new cases marked the highest daily total in two months.

Despite urging people to wear masks indoors, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is defying calls to re-institute strict restrictions to stop the illness’ spread.

“The truth is that if you have mandates, you’ve got to enforce them,” Albanese told reporters on Wednesday. “Whilst there are mandates on public transport … not everyone is wearing a mask.”

As unions urged employers to do more for their employees, Albanese stated that any work-from-home solution must be decided upon jointly by employers and employees.

According to Michele O’Neil, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, employers must go above and beyond the government’s pandemic leave payments by offering paid leave at full pay for employees who need to isolate as well as free quick antigen tests.

“No worker should have to decide between putting food on the table or isolating with COVID,” O’Neil said.

READ MORE: SA’s Ramaphosa To Face Summon Over Phala Phala Farm Scandal

Australia restored assistance payments last week for temporary employees who must stay in quarantine.

Paul Kelly, chief medical officer for Australia, forecast that the number of patients ending up in hospitals will soon reach a record high and he urged employers to permit more employees to work from home.

Authorities have warned that Australia might experience “millions” of new cases in the upcoming weeks.

According to official data, there are currently 5,350 Australians in hospitals with COVID-19, which is not far from the record 5,390 patients hospitalized with BA.1 in January. Queensland, Tasmania, and Western Australia have already experienced their greatest pandemic-related numbers.

The health system is already under strain due to the large number of sick or isolated frontline healthcare professionals.

According to Australian doctors, masks must be required in indoor settings.“We don’t have optional seat belts, we don’t have optional speed limits. There’s a lot of limits on our freedoms that we accept because it’s the right thing to do,” Australian Medical Association President Omar Khorshid told radio station 2GB.

Authorities have also expressed concern over a delay in booster vaccinations.

95 percent of adults over 16 have received two doses so far, which has helped limit Australia’s overall COVID-19 cases under 9 million and its COVID-19 deaths at 10,884, much below many other nations. However, only 71% of people have had three or more doses.

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