Japan records first locally transmitted Omicron cases

Australia’s state of New South Wales (NSW) reported record new Covid-19 cases for the third straight day on Thursday, with 5,715 infections.

The daily total is almost 2,000 cases higher than the previous day. And it was only on Tuesday that NSW reported more than 3,000 daily cases for the first time during the pandemic.

Covid cases are rising rapidly in Australia, with the Omicron variant posing a new threat just as states and cities were beginning to loosen restrictions.

One death nationwide was reported from Wednesday: a man in his 40s who was not vaccinated and had underlying health conditions, NSW Health said in a release.

NSW — Australia’s most populous state — currently has 347 Covid-19 patients in hospital with 45 in intensive care, 13 of whom require ventilation.

The state has recorded 112,307 total Covid-19 cases, NSW Health said.

Victoria cases rise: The neighboring southern state of Victoria reported 2,005 new cases on Thursday — an increase of more than 500 infections from the previous day, according to a media release from the Health Department.

There are 398 Covid-19 patients in hospital in Victoria, with 72 in intensive care, and 39 of those on a ventilator.

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