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Australia records first Omicron death, sticks to reopening plan

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Australia has reported its first confirmed death from the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 amid another surge in daily infections, however authorities have refrained from imposing new restrictions as hospitalisation rates remain low.

The death, a man in his 80s, marked a grim milestone for the country which has had to reverse some parts of a staged reopening after nearly two years of stop-start lockdowns, due to the fresh outbreak.

Omicron, which health experts say appears more contagious but less virulent than previous strains, began to spread in the country just as it lifted restrictions on most domestic borders and allowed Australians to return from overseas without quarantine, driving case numbers to the highest of the pandemic.

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John Mayer tests POSITIVE for COVID-19 and pulls out of Dead and Company's event in Mexico
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