Australia's New South Wales state announced that over 20,000 people were reinfected by the COVID-19 virus after getting it earlier this year, local media said on Thursday.
Health authorities in New South Wales, Australia's most populous state – which includes Sydney – said they looked at the data of 639,430 people infected with COVID for the first time in January when the omicron wave took off, ABC News reported.
The analysis showed that during the last five months 3.2% people were again infected by the virus.
Australia is facing the third wave of the omicron sub-variant.
According to the Australian Health Ministry, 49,556 new cases were registered across the country over the past day, pushing the total number of cases to over 9.2 million with 11,387 deaths.
Over the last week, Australia registered 268,210 new cases, with 419 COVID-19 related fatalities.
Australia declares monkeypox a communicable disease incident of national significance
Australia on Thursday also declared monkeypox as a communicable disease incident of national significance.
In a statement, Paul Kelly, the country's chief medical officer, said the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global situation regarding the virus to be a public health emergency of international concern.
"The latest data from 1 January to 28 July 2022 as reported by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) indicates there have been 20,311 MPX cases in 71 countries (including Australia) that have not historically reported MPX," Kelly said.
Australia so far reported 44 cases of monkeypox, most of them returned international travelers.
Kelly said monkeypox is far less harmful than COVID-19 and there have been no deaths reported during the current outbreak, outside of countries where the virus is endemic.
"MPX is also not transmitted in the same way as COVID-19 – and is far less transmissible," he added.