Calls for more restrictions as Omicron variant cases skyrocket

Experts have called for more COVID-19 restrictions to be introduced as Omicron variant cases surge.

President of the NSW Australian Medical Association (AMA) Dr Danielle McMullen said more needs to be done to stop the spread of Omicron due to the high transmissibility.

Dr McMullen called for mask-wearing indoors to be reintroduced, particularly in NSW, to help curb the spread of the virus.

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People wait for COVID-19 testing at the Macquarie St Pharmacy. Street Pharmacy in Sydney.

"Despite our excellent vaccination rates here, we are seeing really high amounts of spread, and we do think that more probably needs to be done to just slow the spread of COVID as we learn to live with it," she said.

"We do think that a number of simple public health measures, like keeping masks on indoors really would have been a sensible response."

Dr McMullen said Australia is seeing a lag in hospitalisations from the Omicron variant however the virus is expected to be a milder variant of COVID-19.

"We expect to see a week or two's lag in hospitalisations," she said.

"Omicron is expected to cause a milder illness in the vast majority of people but if we are seeing tens of thousands of cases a day, even if a few of them have severe illness, that will put significant stress on our health system."

She also added that it is "inevitable" that NSW will hit 25,000 cases a day by Christmas day.

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Expert calls for more restrictions as Omicron cases surge.

It comes as NSW recorded a significant surge in COVID-19 cases yesterday, reporting 2213 new infections.

A total of 185 cases of the Omicron variant of concern have been confirmed in the state.

Australia's Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said yesterday Omicron cases have been reported in almost every state.

He also said the variant appears to be more transmissible than Delta.

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