People walk near a COVID-19 test center in Sydney, Australia, March 30, 2022. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei/IANS)

Canberra, April 11 (IANS) Stephen Robson, president of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), warned that a surge in coronavirus cases was likely following an increase in travel and large gatherings over the four-day Easter weekend.

Case numbers in most states and territories have been rising over recent months as Australia heads into its winter season, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to Department of Health data, an average of 3,963 new cases were reported every day in the seven days to April 3, up from 3,757 the previous week.

Robson said the actual figure was likely much higher than what has been reported due to a fall-off in regular testing and that hospitals are still under major pressure.

In aged care facilities, where testing requirements remain rigorous, case numbers have increased about 65 per cent in recent weeks.

“We’re coming into winter, and there’s a lot of travel going on and family gatherings. We would anticipate that with all the mitigations now essentially gone, there will be more morbidity, more illness, more loss of life,” the Guardian Australia quoted Robson as saying.

“Hospitals around the country are still facing staff pressures not only in dealing with day-to-day business or people who have Covid but also with massive backlogs.”

He said “it’s still very obvious” to healthcare workers that the pandemic has had a prolonged and profound effect.

Since the pandemic first erupted in early 2020, Australia has reported a total of 11,352,930 Covid-19 cases and 19,933 deaths.