Eighth case of Omicron Covid variant is detected in Australia – a passenger on flight from Doha who had NOT been in Africa
- Seventh case of Omicron Covid strain in NSW, taking Australia’s tally to eight
Health authorities in NSW have confirmed a seventh case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the state, this time from someone who has not been in southern Africa.
Australia now has eight confirmed cases of the Omicron variant, with seven infections in New South Wales, and one in the Northern Territory.
The person arrived on flight QR908 from Doha to Sydney on November 23, and is currently isolating in hotel quarantine with their family.
Two members of their household have also tested positive to Covid-19 with urgent genomic testing underway to confirm if it’s the Omicron strain of the virus.
Authorities are now scrambling to contact passengers on flight QR908 from Doha to Sydney on November 23.
Passengers have been ordered to immediately get tested and isolate until they receive further health advice.
‘These travellers have not been in southern Africa and NSW Health is concerned transmission may have occurred on this flight,’ an alert stated.
Mantra Services Apartments in Chatswood has also been identified as a possible exposure site between November 23 and November 30.
Anyone who was at the venue on any of those eight days is considered a casual contact and must immediately get tested and isolate until they test negative.
The latest case comes after a Sydney man in his 40s and Central Coast woman in her 30s who arrived on a separate Qatar Airways flight from Dohar to Sydney last Thursday were also confirmed to have the strain.
The fully vaccinated woman attended a number of venues at two shopping centres across Sydney before travelling by private car to the Central Coast, where she also attended several more venues.
The Cabramatta man was also infectious in the community for up to six days.
He attended Chemist Warehouse in Liverpool on Monday between 8.10pm and 8.15pm
Anyone who was there at that time is a casual contact and is required to get tested and isolate until they get a negative result.
The infectious man had been living in Nigeria for six months before he returned home last Thursday, three days before NSW Health directed travellers from the region to go into isolation.
All passengers on flight QR908 from Doha to Sydney on November 25 are considered close contacts and have been ordered to get tested and immediately isolate for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said 500 previously tested swabs of travellers who had returned to NSW since November 22 had been lab tested to ensure they did not contain the Omicron strain.
None of them proved to be the new variant but one requires further investigation.
Mr Hazzard added authorities are on high alert for the new ‘variant of concern’ but are happy with the low number of Omicron cases so far.
All 271 new Covid cases recorded in NSW on Thursday were of the Delta strain.
The jury is still out on whether the latest strain is more dangerous and could overwhelm hospitals, or merely be more transmissible and able to replace stronger variants.
The Omicron variant was identified in South Africa on November 11 and has since spread to countries around the world including the UK, the US and Australia.
Another case of the Omicron Covid variant has been detected in New South Wales
An overseas traveller isolating at the Howard Springs quarantine facility in the Northern Territory tested positive to the starin earlier this week.
The man had travelled from South Africa on an international repatriation flight that likewise arrived on November 25.
Travellers arriving in NSW who have visited South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, and Malawi within a 14 day period must stay in hotel quarantine for two weeks – regardless of vaccination status.
Under the federal rules, passengers already on flights to Australia who have been in those countries over the past 14 days will be forced into two-week hotel quarantine.
A woman aged in her 30s went on a two day shopping and fast food spree before she discovered she had the new Omicron strain at the weekend.
NSW HEALTH’S OMICRON EXPOSURE SITE LIST
Coles, Top Ryde Shopping Centre Devlin Street, Ryde
Friday 26 November 9:30am to 10:45am
Target Parramatta, Westfield Parramatta 159-175 Church Street
Friday 26 November
10:45am to 11:00am
H&M Parramatta, Westfield Parramatta 159-175 Church Street
Friday 26 November 11:00am to 11:15am
The Athlete’s Foot, Westfield Parramatta 159-175 Church Street
Friday 26 November 11:15am to 11:30am
JD Sports, Westfield Parramatta 159-175 Church Street
Friday 26 November 11:15am to 12:00pm
Rebel Sports, Westfield Parramatta, 159-175 Church Street
Friday 26 November 12:00pm to 12:45pm
IGA, North Wyong
34-38 Cutler Drive
Friday 26 November 6:15pm to 7:00pm
Pizza Hut, Wyong
300 Pacific Highway
Friday 26 November 7:00pm – 7:15pm
KFC North, Wyong
300 Pacific Highway
Friday 26 November 7:15pm to 7:30pm
1 Figtree Boulevard
Friday 26 November 7.30pm to 8:15pm
127 Evans Road
Saturday 27 November
4:45pm to 5:45pm
Chemist Warehouse, The Grove
Units 3-6, 18 Orange Grove Road
Monday 29 November