A man set himself on fire after denouncing the strict pandemic regulations in Australia, according to local news outlets.
The gruesome incident unfolded on New Year's Day in the Richmond section of Melbourne at about 8 p.m.
The man was sitting in his car and had been loudly denouncing the social distancing mandates in Victoria when he doused himself with gasoline and lit himself and his car on fire, according to the Herald Sun.
“He was screaming about mandates,” said one witness to the Sun. “He was screaming ‘No vax ID,’ and throwing books.”
"His skin was burning. He was on fire,” said an unidentified witness to the news outlet.
Witnesses said that five bystanders helped firefighters and police restrain the man so that they could extinguish the fire.
The man was transported by ambulance to a local hospital in stable, but critical, condition.
Video of the gruesome incident was posted to social media by 5 News Australia.
Victoria state requires all workers to be fully vaccinated, and customers must present proof of vaccination in order to enter bars, restaurants, and other businesses.
Australia is facing a spike in coronavirus infections from the Omicron variant. New daily coronavirus cases have skyrocketed from about 1,200 a month ago in December to more than 21,000 cases. Health officials have acknowledged that they are likely to see far more infections but with a lower death rate and with a lower rate of hospitalizations.
"With Omicron, we cannot have hundreds of thousands of Australians and more taken out of circulation based on rules that were set for the Delta variant," said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Here's more about the pandemic in Australia:
Rise in COVID cases 'no surprise,' says Australian official www.youtube.com