The country’s previous record was 78 deaths set three days prior on Tuesday (January 18) and has reported a total of just under 3,000 COVID related deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020.
However, Dominic Perrottet, premier of New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, said the country saw a slight decrease in hospitalizations, which provides a glimmer of hope that the omicron surge could down.
New South Wales, which includes Sydney, reported 46 of the record 80 deaths, which included a baby who died in December among several historical cases recently investigated.
The record numbers were released after Mark McGowan, the premier of Western Australia state, decided not to reopen the state to the rest of the country on February 5, as was initially intended, during a press conference on Thursday (January 20).
McGowan said reopening the state would be “reckless and irresponsible” as Australia continues to report large numbers of COVID-19 cases in other states, but did not specify when the state would consider reopening its border.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and opposition leader Anthony Albanese will both be prohibited from campaigning in the state due to the border decision for their election scheduled to be held on May 21.