Omicron variant detected in Australia


Genome testing confirmed that two international travelers arriving in Sydney, Australia from southern Africa were infected with the new Omicron COVID-19 mutant.

Both passengers arrive on Saturday night and are isolated in a special health accommodation. Both are fully vaccinated.

The two passengers were one of 14 from southern Africa arriving on Qatar Airways QR908 from Doha to Sydney, and the remaining 12 were in a 14-day hotel quarantine.

Confirmation follows a warning from the state’s NSW Premier that the pandemic is not over after the two confirmed cases have been tested positive on arrival.

Approximately 29 people in one of the nine countries in southern Africa that were subject to high restrictions landed in Sydney on two flights on Saturday night.

They were all sent to the hotel quarantine.

All passengers on Qatar Airways flights are currently classified as close contacts and need to be quarantined for 14 days, even if they are not in southern Africa.

Prime Minister Dominique Perotet reminded us that the pandemic was not over and said his approach was a precautionary measure.

However, he warned that variants should be expected to spread around the world.

“We need to learn to live with the virus. We need to learn to live with the virus variants,” he said.

He ordered all international arrivals to quarantine at home for 72 hours, but Perotet claimed that NSW’s international and state borders remained open.

“We cannot be the kingdom of hermitage on the other side of the world,” he said.

“There isn’t much that the government can do. The best thing we can do as people is to get vaccinated and get booster shots so that you and your family can be safe. . “

The three-day quarantine order stipulates a federal requirement to enter two-week quarantine if a traveler has previously stayed in Southern Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi, or Seychelles. It will be done in addition. 14 days.

The December 15 unvaccinated restrictions will continue to be relaxed, as there are no plans to adjust the state’s reopening roadmap, Perotet said.

Health Minister Brad Hazard said little was known about the new strain, although it may be more contagious than Delta.

In particular, he said, the efficacy of current vaccines against Omicron is still established.

According to Hazard, it took only three weeks for the Delta variant to reach 53 countries.

Those already in NSW who have stayed in nine countries in southern Africa within the last 14 days should immediately test, quarantine for 14 days and contact NSW Health.

Meanwhile, the state added 185 new infections to its case load on Sunday.

No new deaths have been reported for 4 consecutive days.

Hospitals in New South Wales continue to treat 165 patients, nine less than the day before. Twenty-four are in the intensive care unit, 21 of whom are unvaccinated and 9 are ventilated.

The tester processed over 54,000 results from 24 hours to 8 pm on Saturday.

New South Wales has a single dose of 94.5% for all people over the age of 16 and 92.4% is fully vaccinated.

Of the ages 12-15, 81.3% receive one jab and 76.5% receive both.

By Nick Gibbs and Hannah Ryan