Canberra, Jan 25  A new survey on Tuesday revealed that 51 per cent of Australians disapproved the federal government’s handling of the Omicron spread amid surging cases of the highly-transmissible Covid-19 variant.

According to the survey published by the Australian Financial Review (AFR), the people said the handling of the Omicron outbreak and a shortage of rapid antigen tests (RATs) for coronavirus has diminished their view of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s federal government, reports Xinhua news agency.

Almost 50 per cent of respondents rated Morrison’s pandemic response as either poor or very poor compared to 27 per cent who approved him.

While 49 per cent said governments have not found the right balance between opening up the economy and the surge in Covid-19 infections.

Australia on Tuesday reported more than 40,000 new locally-acquired coronavirus infections and 76 deaths – 29 in New South Wales, 29 in Victoria, 11 in Queensland, five in South Australia, and one each in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory, according to health department figures from states and territories.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported that now there have been 74 Covid-19 deaths in South Australia, 70 of which have occurred since the state reopened its borders on November 23, 2021.

According to the federal Department of Health, there were 5,173 cases being treated in Australian hospitals, including 404 in intensive care units, 146 of which were on ventilators.

Currently, 2,285,286 cases are confirmed in the country with 3,225 deaths.

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