Omicron coronavirus variant makes its way to Australia, cases detected in Sydney

Both these passengers, who tested positive for the Omicron variant, were asymptomatic and fully vaccinated. They are currently in isolation at a special health accommodation provided, the federal health department added.
People wear protective face masks in the city centre during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Sydney, Australia. (File Photo / REUTERS)
People wear protective face masks in the city centre during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in Sydney, Australia. (File Photo / REUTERS)
Published on Nov 28, 2021 12:04 PM IST
Copy Link
Written by Joydeep Bose | Edited by Meenakshi Ray, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The omicron variant of the coronavirus, which is being considered to be highly infectious and capable of undergoing frequent mutations, has now made its way to Australia, health authorities of the country said on Sunday.

In a statement, the eastern state of New South Wales' health authority said that two passengers who arrived in Sydney from southern Africa tested positive for Covid-19, following which the results of an urgent genomic test showed that it was caused by Omicron, which has already been classified as a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Both these passengers came to Sydney from southern Africa on November 27 (Saturday), the statement said, adding that they underwent testing on arrival and tested positive for Covid-19 late at night.

The travellers, who tested positive for the omicron variant, were asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, too. They are currently in isolation at a special health accommodation provided, the federal health department added.

Notably, these two passengers were among the 14 people from southern Africa who arrived on the Doha-Sydney Qatar Airways flight on Saturday evening. After two of them tested positive for Covid-19, the other 12 have been sent to 14 days of hotel quarantine in the special health accommodation.

Moreover, around 260 other passengers and the crew aboard the flight, who are considered ‘close contacts’ of these passengers, have also been directed to isolate, the statement added.

On the other side of the world, Europe has also detected cases of the omicron variant across the continent, with UK prime minister Boris Johnson imposing new measures to stem the spread. Countries across Europe are tightening their own travel restrictions as suspected omicron cases rapidly emerge. Starting on Saturday, Switzerland required passengers coming from the UK to show proof of vaccination and negative Covid-19 tests upon arrival.

Beginning on December 1, Spain will also only begin allowing vaccinated travellers arriving from the country.

Austria also registered its first suspected case of a person infected with the omicron variant of the virus. Authorities in Tyrol, on the border with Germany, said the fully-vaccinated patient travelled back from South Africa three days ago and wasn’t showing any symptoms.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The palms of a monkeypox case patient from Lodja, a city located within the Katako-Kombe Health Zone, are seen during a health investigation in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997. 

    Evening brief: France, Belgium, Germany join list of nations with monkeypox

    Here are today's top news, analysis, and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times. France, Belgium, Germany join growing list of nations with monkeypox cases France, Germany and Belgium confirmed their first cases of the monkeypox virus on Friday, joining European nations Spain, Italy, Portugal and Sweden, and Canada, Australia and the United States in reporting a disease endemic to parts of Africa.

  • Chicago shooting: 2 dead, 8 injured after firing at restaurant, say police (Representational image)

    Chicago shooting: 2 dead, 8 injured after firing at restaurant, say police

    Two people are dead and another eight wounded following a shooting near a fast food restaurant in Chicago that sent bystanders scattering, authorities said. The shooting happened about 10:40 p.m. Thursday near a McDonald's on the city's Near North Side, a few blocks from the city's Magnificent Mile shopping district. One person was taken into custody and a weapon was recovered, police said in statement.

  • FILE PHOTO: An image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1996 to 1997. CDC/Brian W.J. Mahy/Handout via REUTERS./File Photo

    France, Belgium, Germany join growing list of nations with monkeypox cases

    France, Germany and Belgium confirmed their first cases of the monkeypox virus on Friday, joining European nations Spain, Italy, Portugal and Sweden, and Canada, Australia and the United States in reporting a disease endemic to parts of Africa. Belgian experts said two cases - in two different cities - had been detected. Spain reported 14 new cases today to take its cumulative caseload to 21.

  • A view shows a Huawei logo at Huawei Technologies France headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris, France. (REUTERS/ FILE)

    Canada to ban China’s Huawei, ZTE from 5G networks over national security concerns

    The Canadian government announced on Thursday that it is banning Chinese telecommunications firms Huawei and ZTE from its fifth generation (5G) infrastructure to protect national security. In the 21st century, cybersecurity is national security.

  • The weapons used are believed to include a mobile laser system first announced by Vladimir Putin in 2018 and which, Russia claims, can blind orbiting satellites as well as destroy drones.

    ‘Peresvet' and ‘Zadira': What we know about Russia's new laser weapons

    Russia on Friday claimed to have used powerful laser weapons in its brutal war on Ukraine; Moscow said the 'next generation' weapons had been used to burn up drones launched by Ukrainian forces. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky appears unworried (for now) and has taunted Russia, comparing the laser weapons to 'wonder weapons' promised by Nazi Germany to stave off defeat in World War II.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, May 20, 2022