Prime Minister Scott Morrison in mask.
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  • Medical professionals are calling for leaders across the nation to re-introduce masks and other restrictions, to try and stop the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19
  • The Australia Medical Association argues more needs to be done to stop the spread of Omicron, with thousands of cases being recorded daily
  • The AMA took aim at NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, urging him to re-instate mask mandates and density limits as the State tops 3700 cases on Wednesday alone
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison is meeting with State and Territory Leaders today to discuss Omicron and the timelines for booster vaccinations
  • Mr Morrison says he’s reluctant for mask-wearing to be mandated, instead urging Australians to use common-sense

Medical professionals are calling for leaders across Australia to re-introduce masks and other restrictions, to try and stop the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The Australia Medical Association argues more needs to be done to stop the highly-infectious variant, with thousands of cases being recorded daily.

Victoria recorded 1503 new cases and six deaths today, while NSW notched up 3763 new cases and two deaths. Queensland also recorded 186 news cases, while 58 were recorded in Canberra and 12 in Tasmania.

AMA President Omar Khorshid said Omicron was quickly overtaking Delta and driving up infection rates across the country.

“There is a growing consensus among key medical experts we need to do more to slow the spread of Omicron, including those involved in the Doherty Institute modelling, which has helped guide the national plan to open up Australia,” Dr Khorshid said.

“Tightening public health restrictions should not be seen as a policy failure. COVID-19 has thrown many different challenges at governments, and we need to be able to respond to these, otherwise we put people’s lives and livelihoods at risk.”

In particular, Dr Khorshid urged NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet to re-instate mask mandates and density limits as case numbers skyrocket in the lead-up to Christmas.

“DIY contact tracing, watered-down check in requirements, the abandonment of mask wearing mandates, and the removal of density limits are together a recipe for disaster and by the time hospital admissions and ICU cases grow beyond whatever benchmark he is working to – it will be too late,” he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is meeting with State and Territory Leaders today to discuss Omicron and the timeline for booster vaccinations.

The Federal Government is awaiting advice from immunisation experts regarding whether Australians should receive their booster shot four months after the second dose, amid the Omicron outbreaks.

Mr Morrison also didn’t throw his weight behind mask mandates though, stating he preferred Australians to use “common sense”.

“We don’t have to mandate people wearing sunscreen and wearing hats in summer,” the PM told Nine.

“And in the same way, people should be following that health advice about washing their hands, keeping an appropriate distance, particularly when they’re indoors, and wearing masks indoors, and especially if you’re around older people and vulnerable people.

“That’s just common sense, and I trust the common sense of Australians.”

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