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Australia close to peak of Omicron wave: CMO

 
Canberra, Jan 15 (IANS) Australia's Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Paul Kelly on Saturday said he was optimistic that the country's Omicron Covid-19 wave was close to its peak.

Kelly said there were "signs for hope" that the record-breaking wave that has accounted for more than 1 million cases since December 2021 has peaked, reports Xinhua news agency.

"In terms of the actual of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are signs for hope," he told reporters in Canberra.

"Now the actual forecasting based on actual numbers of cases, particularly in New South Wales but also in Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, leads me to believe that we are close to the peak of this wave in terms of cases."

Australia on Saturday reported more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases and over 50 deaths, which increased the overall infections and fatalities to 1,632,958 and 2,627, respectively.

Kelly on Saturday morning spoke alongside Health Minister Greg Hunt, who announced that Australia has reached a 95 per cent first dose vaccination rate among people aged 16 and older.

"But we want to go further. We want to continue to encourage Australians to come forward," Hunt said.

Approximately 92.5 per cent of people aged 16 and older have been fully vaccinated.

--IANS
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