As Australia braces for an onslaught of Covid cases, the Prime Minister has announced that the worst is yet to come.
Australians are being warned that the latest Covid wave sweeping the country will peak at the end of next month.
Speaking to reporters after a national cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders on Saturday morning, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed that Covid cases are expected to peak next month.
“From[MD]Kelly’s guidance, it is expected that we can expect an increase in cases in the coming weeks,” he said.
“This is very likely and, on the advice of the Australian General Health Committee (AHPPC), the peak of cases is likely to occur in August.”
The announcement comes as Australia is facing a recent spike in Covid cases, with 43,491 cases across the country in the past 24 hours.
Experts say Pandemic fatigue and complacency partly to blame for the spike in cases after nearly two years of living in fear of the virus.
A total of almost 8.7 million Covid cases have been reported in Australia since the start of the pandemic, according to the Australian Department of Health.
On Friday, Prime Minister Albanese warned Australians to remain vigilant and take measures to protect against Covid.
“We know that the Covid pandemic is not over yet and people must continue to act in accordance with health advice,” he said.
The Chief Medical Officer compared the infectivity of the current strains of Omicron to measles, which Mr Albanese said was a “sobering thought”.
As the number of cases is projected to rise even further, the Prime Minister urged Australians to take advantage of widely available Covid boosters, which he called “absolutely critical”.
“If you qualify for a booster, get it,” he stressed.
“They are free, they help protect your health and mitigate the impact of Covid, including new options.”
On Saturday, the federal government convened with state and territory leaders to commit to ensuring the consistent communication of Covid protection measures as advised by medical experts.
“These include wearing masks indoors where it is appropriate, where people mingle and cannot maintain social distancing, it makes sense to strongly encourage this,” he said.
“Also get tested, follow the rules of respiratory hygiene and where people are in contact, and it is appropriate for people to work from home.”
Warning to expect more Covid cases comes when the government announced back somersault on its previous decision to allow pandemic leave to expire.
Mr Albanese said the change in position was due to the rise in cases during the winter months.
“What we have seen with this new wave of dispersion is a change in health status, and when health circumstances have changed, we have responded,” he said.
Originally published as Australia’s Covid cases soar, weeks to peak