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Australia records deadliest day of pandemic

The Omicron variant spreads more easily than Delta
Associated Press Reporter

Australia has reported its deadliest day of the pandemic with 80 coronavirus fatalities, as an outbreak of the Omicron variant continues to take a toll.

But Dominic Perrottet, premier of New South Wales, said a slight decrease in hospital admissions gave him some hope about the strain the outbreak is putting on the health system.

The previous record of 78 deaths was set on Tuesday.

There have been just under 3,000 coronavirus deaths in Australia since the pandemic began.

New South Wales, home to Sydney, reported a record 46 deaths. They included a baby who died from Covid-19 in December, one of several historical cases that were investigated.

The news came after the premier of Western Australia, Mark McGowan, backed down on a promise to reopen the state to the rest of the country on February 5.

Mr McGowan said reopening the state as planned would be “reckless and irresponsible” given the large number of Covid-19 cases in other states.

No new date has been set for when the state might relax its border measures.

The border decision means neither Prime Minister Scott Morrison nor opposition leader Anthony Albanese can campaign in the state for now. An election is due to be held by May 21.

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