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Australian hospitals receive record number of COVID patients as Omicron surges

Many frontline workers in hospitals are also sick or in isolation, worsening the healthcare crisis

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Australian hospitals receive record number of COVID patients as Omicron surges
GNN Media: Representational Photo

The number of Australians admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 hit a record of about 5,450 on Monday, official data showed, as the spread of highly contagious new Omicron sub-variants strains the healthcare system nationwide.

The figure has grown since late June, as the BA.4 and BA.5 strains became dominant since they can evade immune protection, whether from vaccination or prior infection, while some experts say the latter can be as infectious as measles.

The number of those in hospitals is the highest since the emergence of the coronavirus, exceeding January's high of 5,390 during the first wave of Omicron infections. Daily death tolls have also risen, topping 100 on Saturday for the first time.

More than 1,000 retirement homes have suffered outbreaks, the government said, as the elderly are largely affected.

With several aged care centres battling a shortage of staff, the support of defence personnel in such facilities is to be extended until the end of September, Defence Minister Richard Marles said.

"It is an extreme measure and it's right to describe it as that," he told ABC television. "Given the number of outbreaks that we've got right now, this is the right thing to do."

Many frontline workers in hospitals are also sick or in isolation, worsening the healthcare crisis.

During a harsh winter with both COVID-19 and the flu virus circulating, authorities have recommended the use of masks indoors and urgent booster doses of vaccine, while telling businesses to allow work from home.

Australia, one of the countries most heavily vaccinated against COVID-19, has given two doses to about 95% of those older than 16, although just about 71% have had booster shots.

Still, its tally of about 9.13 million infections and 11,181 deaths was lower than many developed economies.

SOURCE: REUTERS

World

Flooding caused by heavy rain kills 16 in western China

Rivers changed courses and flooded villages and towns. More than 6,200 people were affected by the flood.

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Flooding caused by heavy rain kills 16 in western China

Beijing: Flooding caused by heavy rainfall in the western Chinese province of Qinghai has killed 16 people, state media reported on Thursday, with an additional 36 missing.

Heavy and sudden downpours in Datong Hui and Tu Autonomous County, population 403,368, of Qinghai province started late Wednesday, causing flooding on the mountains and triggered landslides, according to China's state broadcaster CCTV.

Rivers changed courses and flooded villages and towns. More than 6,200 people were affected by the flood.

Local government has sent a rescue team of 2,000 people and more than 160 vehicles for disaster relief.

Since June, China has been grappling with extreme weather from heatwaves to historic floods. The government has blamed climate change, which it says will increasingly affect the economy and society. 

SOURCE: Reuters

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Pakistan

Pakistan, Canada need to further deepen, bilateral cooperation in diverse fields: FM

He was talking to his Canadian counterpart Mélanie Joly through a video call in Islamabad on Wednesday.

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Pakistan, Canada need to further deepen, bilateral cooperation in diverse fields: FM

Islamabad: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has underscored that Pakistan and Canada needed to further deepen and expand bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

He was talking to his Canadian counterpart Mélanie Joly through a video call in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari underlined that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and Canada and maintained that both countries were holding activities to befittingly celebrate this milestone occasion.

Agreeing with the Foreign Minister,Mélanie Joly stressed that Canada was keen to solidify multi-dimensional ties with Pakistan.

In the context of situation in Afghanistan, Mélanie Joly particularly thanked Pakistan for its unremitting support in the evacuation process since last August. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari underlined that Pakistan had been facilitating the evacuations on a humanitarian basis. The Foreign Minister also reiterated the need for scaled up support of the international community in protecting the lives and livelihoods of the Afghan people in the wake of dire humanitarian and economic crises and acknowledged Canada’s humanitarian assistance for Afghanistan.

During the video call, Mélanie Joly congratulated the Foreign Minister on his assumption of office and hoped that Pakistan-Canada ties would further strengthen and widen under his leadership.

The two Ministers agreed to remain in close contact. The Foreign Minister also conveyed his cordial greetings and best regards to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari invited Mélanie Joly to visit Pakistan which she accepted the invitation and underlined that she was looking forward to visit Pakistan at her earliest convenience.

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Pakistan

Rain-wind, thundershower expected in most parts of country

Heavy falls are also likely at scattered places in Sindh, eastern Balochistan and Punjab

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Rain-wind, thundershower expected in most parts of country

Islamabad: Rain-wind/thundershower is expected in Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan during the next twelve hours.

Heavy falls are also likely at scattered places in Sindh, eastern Balochistan, South Punjab and Southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the period.

Temperature of some major cities recorded this morning:  

Islamabad and Peshawar twenty-five degree centigrade, Lahore twenty-eight, Karachi twenty-seven, Quetta twenty-one, Gilgit twenty, Murree seventeen and  Muzaffarabad twenty-two degree centigrade.   

According to Met Office forecast for Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, partly cloudy/chances of rain-wind and thundershower in Srinagar, Jammu, leh, Pulwama, Anantnag, Shopian and Baramula.

Temperature recorded this morning:          

Srinagar, Anantnag and Shopian nineteen degree centigrade, Jammu twenty-eight, Leh fourteen, Pulwama and Baramula twenty degree centigrade.    

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