COVID-19 cases have jumped by thousands in Victoria and New South Wales overnight.
NSW recorded 10,689 new cases, up from 8911 yesterday. Six coronavirus patients have died and 38 more are in ICU.
In Victoria, 7460 cases were clocked. This is up from 5499 yesterday. Four more people have died and 24 are in ICU.
The spike in infections come after Health Minister Brad Hazzard said a new subvariant of Omicron is spreading rapidly.
He predicted numbers in NSW could double in four to six weeks.
“We’ve seen a change. We’ve gone from BA.1, a variant of COVID to BA.2,” he told Today yesterday.
“And the advice is it’s much more transmissible. It’s not necessarily more dangerous.
“We are expecting that more people may get it.”
The same pattern is being seen in China as the fast-spreading “stealth Omicron” variant fuels the country’s biggest outbreak since the start of the pandemic.
The National Health Commission reported 1,337 locally transmitted cases on Monday, including 895 in the industrial province of Jilin.