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Australia COVID updates: Here's the latest coronavirus news from around Australia and the world

03:13  25 december  2021
03:13  25 december  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

Malaysia’s Oscar hope is a gritty, urban coming-of-age tale

  Malaysia’s Oscar hope is a gritty, urban coming-of-age tale Prebet Sapu brings multiracial realism back to cinema screens, signalling some relaxation in local censorship attitudes.Being colour blind, the young ethnic Malay man does not hold a proper driving licence but his car is his only possession, so he ekes out a living on the margins working illegally as a driver in his alien new surroundings. Chaperoned by Bella – an ethnic Chinese escort he meets driving at night – Aman will soon learn that in the big city, dreams are as fragile as glass, and innocence and sin are two faces of the same coin.

Here is everything you need to know about COVID-19 today.

You can jump to the COVID-19 stories you want to read by clicking below.

  • NSW records 6,288 and no deaths
  • Victoria records 2,108 new cases and six deaths
  • Queensland announces a new daily record of 765 cases
  • Hundreds in WA spending Christmas in isolation
  • Tasmania records 33 new cases
  • Reports suggest 1 in 20 Londoners could have COVID-19
  • France records its largest daily infection rise

NSW records 6,288 and no deaths

There were 6,288 new COVID-19 infections recorded in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Friday.

The state recorded no deaths, with 388 patients in hospital with the virus.

Boom, bust and a sense of distrust in central Queensland's coal country

  Boom, bust and a sense of distrust in central Queensland's coal country Queensland coal country will again be a focal point next election, and with growing job insecurity, distrust in major parties and Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer still popular, things could get interesting.There's change in the air for communities in central Queensland.

There are 52 people currently in intensive care, one less than the previous day.

NSW has also reported 95 per cent of residents aged 16 and over have got their first vaccine shot.

Read the story here.

Victoria records 2,108 new cases and six deaths

Victoria has announced a further 2,108 COVID-19 infections on Saturday, with six more people dying with the virus.

There are now 17,599 active cases in the state.

Victoria's Health Department says 92 per cent of residents aged 12 and over have received both COVID-19 vaccinations.

There are 361 people in hospital, 112 of them are in intensive care.

There are 42 patients in hospital on ventilators.

Read the story here.

Queensland announces a new daily record of 765 cases

Queensland's Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said there had been a further 765 new cases recorded in Queensland.

Omicron is more transmissible, but is it really milder?

  Omicron is more transmissible, but is it really milder? As cases surge, it would be safer to impose tough restrictions until we understand the behaviour of the new variant.Although it is widely accepted the Omicron variant did not originate in South Africa, because it had the technology and sense of responsibility to report the new variant, it has unfairly had the most severe travel restrictions imposed upon it by other countries. South African doctors and politicians have been critical of the global response, feeling it too harsh and disproportionate to the threat posed by the Omicron variant.

There were 33,971 tests recorded, and there are now 2,147 active cases in the state.

There are only five people being treated in hospital due to mild and moderate symptoms from the virus.

A person who was being treated in an intensive care unit has now been moved out.

There has been 90.36 per cent of eligible Queenslanders aged 16 and over who have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 85.88 per cent are double vaccinated.

Read the story here.

Hundreds in WA spending Christmas in isolation

Hundreds of COVID-19 casual contacts have been forced into isolation over Christmas and New Year after Western Australia announced five community cases on Friday.

One of the five is a close contact of a French backpacker who tested positive on Thursday, and four are casual contacts from an event at Perth Mess Hall in Northbridge on Sunday.

Given the infections among casual contacts, Premier Mark McGowan revealed that 400 people who attended the event would need to test and isolate for 14 days from exposure.

How to recognize Covid-19 symptoms from the omicron variant

  How to recognize Covid-19 symptoms from the omicron variant A mild Covid-19 case from omicron might feel like a cold. You should still take it seriously.An international team of researchers has been tracking signs of infection throughout the pandemic with the Covid Symptom Study using a mobile app where users could self-report their symptoms. Data on the omicron variant is still preliminary, but a group of 171 app users in the United Kingdom, most of whom are vaccinated, recently reported that their top symptoms for omicron were a runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, and a sore throat. These were also the top symptoms for people infected with the delta variant.

It means the group — including 100 people from a Fremantle backpackers — will be in quarantine until January 3.

Two of the five new cases are vaccinated, two are not and the vaccination status of the other is unclear, Mr McGowan said on Friday.

Meanwhile, Queensland and South Australia have been listed as high risk from today.

Only approved travellers will be allowed into the state.

Tasmania records 33 new cases

Thirty-three new COVID-19 infections have been recorded in Tasmania.

There are now 113 active cases in the state.

Tasmania's Department of Health says there is one person in hospital with COVID-19, but they were administered for a different medical condition.

Of the state's residents aged 12 and over, 91.35 per cent have had both COVID-19 vaccine shots.

Extra COVID-19 protocols are being introduced at the Royal Hobart Hospital after a staff member tested positive for the virus.

Public health officials said an incident management team had been formed to prioritise the testing of staff and patients who may have been exposed to the positive case.

It’s only a matter of time before omicron spreads through immigration detention

  It’s only a matter of time before omicron spreads through immigration detention Immigrants in ICE custody are already at high risk.Now they’re even more vulnerable as the highly transmissible omicron has become the most common coronavirus variant in the US — and advocates say it’s another factor that adds to the already compelling case for releasing them from detention.

"All employees at the RHH have received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination," the statement said.

"These factors significantly minimise the risk of exposure and transmission."

Reports suggest 1 in 20 Londoners could have COVID-19

The UK reported another day of record COVID-19 cases on Friday, with new estimates showing swathes of London's population are carrying the virus.

Omicron's rapid spread has driven a surge in cases over the last seven days, especially in the capital.

Around 1 in 20 Londoners likely had COVID-19 on December 16 and early estimates — which could yet be revised — suggest this may have risen to 1 in 10 on Sunday, models from the Office for National Statistics show.

Government data showed 122,186 new cases, up from 119,789 on Thursday and marking the third day of cases in excess of 100,000.

France records its largest daily infection rise

France hit another COVID-19 infection record on Friday, with the daily figure getting close to 100,000, a trend that prompted the government to convene a special meeting on the pandemic on Monday which could trigger new restrictions on movement.

Health authorities reported 94,124 new daily COVID-19 cases on Friday while the number of people hospitalised reached a seven-month high at close to 16,200, according to official data.

The seven-day moving average of new cases, which evens out weekly data reporting irregularities, also reached a new record of 66,417, a total that has tripled in just one month.

The number of COVID-19 related deaths climbed by 167, bringing the total to 122,462.

France's total number of cases since the outbreak of the pandemic stands at 8.98 million, the seventh highest in the world.

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Omicron: is it time to give up? .
Omicron has thrown the country into a seemingly contradictory position: leaders seeking to open up must suddenly consider how to limit its transmission, if at all.This week there was a huge change, as part of an effort to "live with" the virus. The national cabinet's decision to redefine a "close contact" to the bare minimum of someone living with a confirmed COVID-19 case or having spent more than four hours with them in a home, accommodation or care facility will inevitably mean cases — and therefore hospitalisations — will rise.

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