Australia Urges Working From Home as New COVID Wave Overwhelms Hospitals

Australian health officials have urged employers to allow working from home as hospitals face increasing COVID-19 patients.

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly, said Tuesday that employers should examine the feasibility of employees working remotely to slow down the spread of highly infectious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron strain. 

“Employers should review their occupational health and safety risks and mitigations, and their business continuity plans,” Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly, said Tuesday. 

Kelly said that employers should promote precautionary measures in workplaces, encouraging wearing face masks and taking a leave when sick.

Kelly said Australia had recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases because of the new COVID-19 wave. He said that the increasing number of infections would increase pressure on hospitals already attending to many COVID-19 patients.

The World Health Organization reported 119,476 confirmed COVID-19 infections in Australia on Monday, with 64 deaths. Recorded deaths on Tuesday reached 137.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 46 percent of employed Australians worked from home once or more weekly in March. ABS said some primary reasons for employees working from home include close COVID-19 contact and work-from-home instruction from employers.

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