The days of lockdown have been confined to the history books, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says despite surging Covid cases.
Scott Morrison has ruled out future lockdowns to cope with high Covid numbers, declaring the “days of lockdown are gone”.
The Prime Minister was responding to whether a short-term circuit breaker lockdown was needed to the manage high Covid infections around the country.
But managing the virus was no longer about case numbers given the Omicron strain of the virus was much less severe, he said.
“It’s not about numbers,” Mr Morrison told Nine’s Today program on Monday.
“This is a different type of variant which requires an evolution of our response.
“The days of lockdown are gone. We’re going forward, we’re not going back – that’s not how we manage this virus.
“There will be high case numbers, but the severity is a lot less so you focus on your healthcare system.”
At the moment, there are 51 people on ventilators around the country and 148 people in ICU.
The number of Omicron cases in hospital was “very small”, with the strain 75 per cent less virulent and severe than the Delta variant, Mr Morrison said.
“We’ve gear changed with Omicron,” he said.
“If you are in hospital at the moment, the primary reason for that is you weren’t vaccinated. The second reason for that is you’ve got Delta, not Omicron.
“We’re now dealing with a very different virus, so we’ve really got to change the way we think about it.
“That’s why talking about case numbers now is really not the point.
“The issue is how we’re managing the impact on the health system. That’s why we’re ensuring we have sensible rules that allow people back to work.”