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COVID-19 expert urges Australians to wear masks even after latest Omicron wave passes

Australian health officials say there are encouraging signs that the wave of COVID-19 Omicron variant infections is declining. But more than 4,000 Australians have been hospitalized with the virus, and an unknown number are suffering from the long-term effects of her COVID.

COVID-19 no longer makes the headlines the way Australia once did. Stringent public health measures such as lockdowns, curfews, mask mandates and border closures imposed during the pandemic have ended.

Countries are doing their best to live with the virus.

More than 95% of Australians over the age of 16 have had their second dose of the coronavirus, according to government data. More than 70% of her eligible population — 14 million people have received her 3 or more doses.

But the virus persists. Officials say the Omicron subspecies contributed to the recent wave of infections that coincided with the Southern Hemisphere winter. Still, dozens of deaths and thousands of infections are reported every day.

Leading epidemiologist at the Barnett Institute, a Melbourne-based health care facility, publishes new study showing how many lives could be saved if more Australians wore masks Did.

The Institute's chief executive officer, Brendan Crabbe, said face coverings continue to be an important defense against disease.

“We need to change from a high COVID strategy to a low COVID strategy. We can say that between January and October, up to 20% of cases, 20% of hospitalizations and 14% of deaths could be avoided,” the club said.

Australia has had some of the strictest disease control measures in the world. Most foreigners have been banned from entering Australia for more than two years from March 2020. Australian citizens needed government permission to leave the country. The military has been deployed to enforce lockdowns and vaccine mandates have been imposed on some key workers.

Currently, the country's coronavirus strategy relies on individuals making their own decisions about vaccines, masks, hygiene and distancing. But experts say restoring individual freedom comes at a price.

Australia has recorded 12,400 deaths of her from the coronavirus since the pandemic began. More than half of the deaths occurred in 2022 when restrictions were lifted.

Government data on Wednesday showed that 9.6 million of her COVID-19 cases were diagnosed in Australia during the pandemic. 270,000 active cases have been reported nationwide.