Australian states ease restrictions as Covid cases dip

The three-worst hit Australian states have eased restrictions following a drop in the number of new Covid-19 cases.

The state of New South Wales (NSW) recorded 7,437 cases and 14 deaths on Monday, the third consecutive day of registering less than 10,000 infections, reports Xinhua news agency.

The hospitalisations in NSW cases also plummeted to 2,099, while ICU admissions dropped to 137.

From Monday, NSW’s previously paused non-urgent elective surgery will return to 75 per cent capacity in private hospitals and some regional public hospitals, as pressure has been relieved in some health sectors.

The neighbouring state Victoria reported 8,275 new cases on Monday. The hospitalisation was 638, down from 652 the previous day, and 72 cases in the ICU.

Some non-urgent surgeries will also restart in Victoria’s private hospitals and day procedure centres, but they will be able to resume at only up to 50 percent of normal levels.

Victoria’s Minister for Health Martin Foley said when the average hospitalisation drops under 600, he will review the settings and consider if metropolitan public hospitals can resume some non-urgent elective surgery, pending an assessment of staff availability and furloughs.

Meanwhile, the state of Queensland’s Covid-19 check-in app is no longer required for a range of venues including supermarkets, retail outlets, hairdressers and gyms, as the case numbers in the state showed a downward trend.

The state recorded 4,701 new cases on Monday, down from 5,746 on Sunday. There were 663 people in hospital, the same as Sunday.

“The trend is rapidly down across Queensland, and we expect to see that continue throughout February,” Queensland’s Chief health officer John Gerrard said.




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