Australia's Health Minister Mark Butler has warned that "millions" of people could get infected with coronavirus in the coming weeks amid a winter surge.
Butler recently asked the Australians to wear masks and work from home when needed to mitigate the impact of a wave of BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariant infections.
There were 316,574 active COVID-19 cases in Australia by Wednesday -- a figure Butler said could increase within weeks.
"I think this is a very concerning wave. This is the third wave just this year that Omicron has thrown at Australia," he said on the TV program Sunrise on Wednesday. "It's likely over coming weeks that some millions of Australians will catch COVID-19, some of them catching it again after perhaps having caught it earlier this year."
Butler said employers had been asked by chief health officers to think about whether their business can deal with a short period of working from home arrangements. On Thursday, Australia reported more than 35,000 new COVID-19 infections and more than 70 deaths.
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