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Australia nears living with COVID like flu – PM Morrison

Australia nears living with COVID like flu - PM Morrison

Despite the fact that Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the country’s political leaders want to proceed to a new phase of treating COVID-19 as if it were the flu, he added that they will speak with health specialists first.

Morrison told reporters on Saturday morning that he and the national cabinet of state and federal leaders had discussed moving to “Phase D” of the national pandemic response plan, a day after meeting with them the previous night.

In his words, “our airports are open again, foreign arrivals may come in, and there are now exemptions on quarantine for individuals returning, so we are very much in Phase D.”

He said that the leaders sought to eliminate the necessity for close contacts of COVID-19 patients to be isolated and that they would seek more input from an expert panel on the matter.

In Morrison’s words, the isolation requirement was “depriving firms of employees.” Morrison’s conservative government is up for re-election in May.

“The majority of the time, we think we are in Phase D at this point, with a few notable outliers. Remember that living with a virus, such as the flu, is considered Phase D “he said.

He predicted that Western Australia and the Northern Territory will be a month behind the eastern states in terms of lifting restrictions.

Health officials in New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, expressed concern this week about an increase in the new BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron, which they said could result in a doubling of daily cases by the end of the month from the most recent figures, which were approximately 15,000.

 

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