Australia reported one of its highest daily death tolls from the novel coronavirus on Thursday while hospital admissions hovered near record levels, as authorities struggle to get ahead of highly contagious Omicron variants.
The BA.4/5 variants are good at evading immune protection from vaccination or prior infection and have been driving a surge of new infections globally.
Australia is reporting the highest daily numbers since the first Omicron wave earlier this year, with 89 deaths from the coronavirus on Thursday and 90 on Wednesday. Just over 55,600 new cases were recorded on Thursday, the highest since May 18.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said state leaders and federal health officials have not recommended making masks mandatory in indoor venues, despite calls by some doctors to do so.