Australian states see sharp spike in Covid cases

Covid-19 cases have spiked sharply in Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales (NSW), with daily caseload up almost to 10,000 in two days.

On Wednesday, the state reported 24,151 new Covid cases and 15 deaths. Daily cases have mounted at an alarming rate, with 19,183 new cases reported on Tuesday and 15,572 on Monday.

There are 1,444 Covid patients in NSW hospitals, 51 of whom require intensive care, Xinhua news agency reported.

Some schools in the state are either closed or operating with minimal staff due to the spread of Covid, forcing teachers or students to miss attendance at schools.

The Independent Education Union (IEU) revealed to the local media that 25 per cent of public school students were not in class on Monday because they were sick, self-isolating or were told to study online.

Under the pressure of staff shortage, NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell told local radio station 2GB on Wednesday that the potential easing of isolation rules for teachers as essential workers “is something that is on the table”.

Meanwhile, the state of Queensland reported 8,534 new Covid cases and one death. The state has 468 people with Covid in hospital, 14 of them in intensive care.

Despite the increase, from 1 a.m. April 14, the state will ease Covid restrictions ahead of the Easter holiday. Queenslanders will no longer need to check-in or show vaccination status at venues and events, although vaccine requirements will still apply to visitors and workers in vulnerable settings.

In the state of Victoria, there were 12,150 new Covid cases and three deaths reported on Wednesday. Victoria currently has 331 patients at the hospital with the virus, including 16 in intensive care.

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