'Australia's Covid response saved tens of thousands of lives'

Canberra, Sep 17 (IANS): Australia's coronavirus response has saved tens of thousands of lives, the government claimed on Friday.

According to data released by the federal government, Australia has the second-lowest Covid-19 death rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with 0.75 fatalities per 100,000 people.

By comparison, the death rate between February 24 and September 14 was 93 per 100,000 in the US and 89.4 in the UK.

Only New Zealand was better than Australia among the OECD members.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said that even amid the country's biggest wave of infections Australians have been protected from the worst of the pandemic.

"The fact that we have the second-lowest per capita levels of lives lost means that tens of thousands of lives were saved not just last year, but this year as well," he told Nine Entertainment newspapers.

"The focus on aged care, both workers and residents, has meant that there are dramatically different human outcomes from the Sydney outbreak this year as opposed to the Victorian outbreak last year."

According to the Department of Health, as of Friday there has been 1,128 Covid-19 deaths in Australia, 909 of which were in 2020.

Australia reported 1,825 new locally-acquired Covid-19 infections on Friday morning, which increased the overall caseload to 80,402.



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