Wed, 08 Feb 2023

© Provided by Xinhua

CANBERRA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Australia's rate of coronavirus infection has plateaued as the nation's fourth wave of cases wanes.

The Department of Health on Friday reported there were an average of 15,569 new cases per day in the week to Dec. 6, an increase of 8 percent from the previous week. It is the smallest weekly increase in cases since late October.

However, there were more than 210 COVID-19 deaths in the most recent reporting period, the most since the start of the current wave of infections.

A report published by the Actuaries Institute on Friday found that there were 15,400 "excess deaths" in Australia in the first eight months of 2022, or 13 percent more deaths than expected.

© Provided by Xinhua

Of those deaths, COVID-19 was the direct cause of 8,200 and a contributing factor to another 2,100.

Karen Cutter, a spokesperson for the group, said every state and territory except the Northern Territory, which has a young population, had "significant levels of excess mortality in 2022."

"Generally, about half of this was due to deaths from COVID-19, with the exception of Tasmania which had relatively fewer deaths from COVID-19 and more deaths from other causes," she told the Australian Associated Press.

Deaths were higher than expected in almost all age groups but particularly high among older people and women.

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