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Sydney : The Australian state of Victoria has announced that it will extend its public health order under the pandemic for another three months, citing the serious risk of a Ba.2 omicron wave in the state.

The extension will begin Tuesday next week and last for three additional months. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement on Wednesday night following advice from the state’s acting chief health officer, Xinhua news agency reported.

“This expansion enables us to have modest and sensible settings to reduce transmission and hospitalization – that means greater support for health workers and limiting its impact on our community,” Andrews said.

“We don’t want the rules on time any more – we’ll continue to follow the advice to protect what we’ve built while protecting our community.”

There has been an increase in the number of COVID cases in the state as the highly transmissible Omicron BA.2 sub-strain has become the dominant strain of the virus in Australia.

On Thursday, Victoria reported 12,314 new cases and 4 more deaths. Highest single-day rise since the tail end of its initial Omicron wave in early February.

All states and territories of Australia are fighting a similar battle against the ragweed subspecies.

On Thursday, New South Wales (NSW) recorded 22,255 cases and 16 deaths.

As of 9 p.m. Wednesday, the Australian Government’s Department of Health estimated that there are around half a million active cases of COVID across the country.

Source