Aussie state sees rise in Covid cases among children

SYDNEY, Feb 16: New data released by the Australian state of Queensland showed a concerning rise in Covid cases among school-age children.

There were 1,905 cases reported in Queensland’s children aged 5-17 on Wednesday, up from the previous day’s 1,587.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer John Gerrard admitted there has been “a bump in cases in children” since schools reopened on February 7, but the bigger concern is the infection risks children may bring back home.

“We have not seen increases in hospitalisations among children… To me, the bigger concern when children get infected is their risk to their parents and grandparents, so that’s why it is so critical that anyone coming into contact with children get their booster,” he said.

The total number of the state’s new Covid cases on Wednesday is 6,596, a jump from 5,286 on Tuesday. More than 62 per cent of the state’s eligible population have taken their booster shot of the Covid vaccine, while around 90 per cent have received two doses.

Meanwhile, the government of Victoria state announced that more elective surgeries can resume in the local hospitals as the current wave of infections with the Omicron variant of Covid continues to subside in the state.

Victoria reported 8,149 new Covid cases on Wednesday, compared to Tuesday’s 8,162. The number of hospitalisations also went down from Tuesday’s 441 to 397.