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Worst-hit Aus states issue series of new measures

 
Sydney, Jan 6 (IANS) Australia's worst-hit states by the Covid-19 pandemic have issued a series of measures to cope with the steep rise of hospitalizations, as the country reported more than 72,000 new daily cases on Thursday.

New South Wales (NSW), Victoria, Queensland, are the three major states forming the bulk of the country's new record daily infections, reports xinhua news agency.

NSW reported 34,994 new cases on Thursday, about 31 per cent of people tested were positive. Six death cases were reported and 1,609 people were in hospital, including 131 in intensive care units.

Victoria reported 21,997 new cases and six deaths on Thursday. It also has a positivity rate from testing of about one in three. 631 people are in hospital including 51 in intensive care.

Queensland reported 10,332 new cases and one death, the first time for the state's daily increase to the top 10,000. There are 284 people in hospital including 12 in intensive care.

Other states and territories in the country reported more than 5,300 new daily cases in total.

In response to the surging cases, the Victoria government announced that from 11.59 p.m. on Thursday night, density limits of one person per two square metres will be enforced in indoor hospitality and entertainment venues.

In Victoria, it will also be mandatory to report positive rapid antigen test results to the health department by phone or using an online form.

A positive home test will carry the same obligations as a positive PCR test.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'ath also emphasised the use of rapid antigen tests as Covid-19 testing centres in the state continue to be overwhelmed. Some people will be given take-home rapid antigen tests.

D'ath said the state needs to prepare for the pandemic in the same way the communities prepare for storms or cyclones, and people need to prepare supplies that could support seven-day isolation.

--IANS
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