Australian Treasurer Calls for Restriction Easing Despite Rising Cases
jpnn.com, AUSTRALIA - Australia should ease Covid-19 restrictions to boost its economic recovery, said Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, although daily infections are currently the highest in six weeks in the country.
"States need to keep calm and carry on and not overreact to the Omicron variant," Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne on Saturday.
Australia has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, with nearly 90 percent of people over the age of 16 having been fully vaccinated.
However, Australia found 1,753 cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, up about 3 percent from the past week and being its highest daily total cases since October 29.
Frydenberg said state and territory leaders should ease restrictions put in place and stressed the need to accelerate Australia's economic growth, while he dismissed concerns about the Omicron variant.
"Our economic recovery depends upon it. We have the vaccination rates now at record highs and that has proven to be a vital defence against Covid-19," he said.
While some measures were relaxed when the vaccine was rolled out, interstate travel is still prohibited between some states and capacity limits at shops and restaurants are strictly enforced.
Australia's US$1.4 trillion economy was devastated by the lockdown in two largest states, and the gross domestic product fell 1.9 percent in the third quarter.
Australian Treasurer said his country should ease Covid-19 restrictions to boost its economic recovery despite high daily infections.
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