Sydney Omicron outbreak could peak by late Jan

New South Wales (NSW) state Premier Dominic Perrottet postponed non-urgent surgeries and reinstated a ban on singing and dancing in clubs and pubs including in Sydney, the state capital and home to more than 5 million people.

"This is a challenging time, not just in New South Wales, but around the world," Perrottet said during a media briefing on Friday (January 7), as people admitted to the state's hospitals with COVID-19 nearly doubled to a record 1,738 in just over a week.

After containing the virus through lockdowns and tough border rules earlier in the pandemic, Australia is now suffering infection rates far higher than elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.

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