Australia’s New South Wales tops 3,000 daily COVID cases

Dec 20, 2021, 7:57 PM | Updated: 8:51 pm

SYDNEY (AP) — New COVID-19 cases in Australia’s most populous state surged past 3,000 on Tuesday for the first time, adding pressure on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to speed the rollout of booster shots.

New South Wales state reported a record 3,057 new coronavirus cases and two deaths over the past 24 hours. There were 284 people in hospitals, up from 261 a day earlier, and 39 in intensive care units, up from 33.

Morrison has called an “informal” meeting on Wednesday of the national cabinet, a forum of state premiers and territory chief ministers, as new infections rise in New South Wales and Victoria states.

The premiers of those states are likely to press Morrison to cut the interval between a second vaccine dose and a booster shot from six months to four months.

Victoria reported 1,245 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths on Tuesday.

Health ministers in New South Wales and Victoria have called on the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation to make “specific determinations” for accelerated booster programs in both states in part to stay ahead of the new omicron strain of the virus.

The advisory group is also reportedly considering changing the definition of “fully vaccinated” to mean those who have had a booster shot in addition to two vaccine doses.

While some states in Australia require masks in bars, restaurants and other indoor public settings, New South Wales has resisted a return to mask mandates.

Morrison has also said he does not favor mandates, even in the face of the omicron variant. He said Australia would have to “continue to calibrate” how it lives with the virus.

“The time for that heavy hand is behind us,” Morrison said. It is “the time for knowing and trusting Australians who have proven themselves with one of the highest vaccination rates in the world.”

“We have to move from a culture of mandates to a culture of responsibility. That’s how we live with this virus into the future,” he said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A model displays the collection by Russian designer Slava Zaitsev during the opening of the Fashion...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: Moscow Fashion Week sprawls across the capital

MOSCOW (AP) — Chic and adventurous models and couturiers have been spread all over the Russian capital for Moscow Fashion Week, flaunting their designs in venues ranging from a sprawling Stalin-era propaganda exposition to a large park near the Kremlin admired for its innovative features. More than 100 shows are being held during the week […]
1 hour ago
Hundreds of people were slaughtered in a village and its surroundings this month in the latest expl...
Associated Press

‘Total bloodbath’: Witnesses describe Ethiopia ethnic attack

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The heavily armed men appeared around the small farming village in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, frightening residents already on edge after recent clashes between government troops and rebels. “The militants assured us that they will not touch us. They said they are not after us,” resident Nur Hussein Abdi told The Associated […]
1 hour ago
Abortion-rights protesters gather following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, f...
Associated Press

Guns and abortion: Contradictory decisions, or consistent?

They are the most fiercely polarizing issues in American life: abortion and guns. And two momentous decisions by the Supreme Court in two days have done anything but resolve them, firing up debate about whether the court’s conservative justices are being faithful and consistent to history and the Constitution — or citing them to justify […]
1 hour ago
FILE -Health workers led by nurses take part in a demonstration over salaries at Parerenyatwa Hospi...
Associated Press

Inflation sparks global wave of protests for higher pay, aid

Rising food costs. Soaring fuel bills. Wages that are not keeping pace. Inflation is plundering people’s wallets, sparking a wave of protests and workers’ strikes around the world. This week alone saw protests by the political opposition in Pakistan, nurses in Zimbabwe, unionized workers in Belgium, railway workers in Britain, Indigenous people in Ecuador, hundreds […]
1 hour ago
Ten-year-old Greyson Goldstein stands outside Ball Arena before Game 1 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cu...
Associated Press

NHL experiencing sustained growth with female, younger fans

One of the biggest stories in the NHL this season has been the increase in viewers in the league’s first year of its television contracts with ESPN and TNT. The league is also seeing unparalleled growth in female and younger fans that should have a big impact for years to come. According to NHL research, […]
1 day ago
FIFA President Gianni Infantino answers questions during a 2026 soccer World Cup news conference Th...
Associated Press

Group asks for living wages, labor rights for 2026 World Cup

With this year’s World Cup in Qatar clouded by labor and human rights issues, there’s a push for the North American cities awarded games for the 2026 tournament to commit to livable wages, equitable hiring and worker protection. The Dignity 2026 coalition has brought together groups including the AFL-CIO, Human Rights Watch and the Independent […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
Australia’s New South Wales tops 3,000 daily COVID cases