Two Omicron Cases Detected In Queensland Overseas Arrivals
Omicron and Omicron-like
Two Covid Omicron cases have been confirmed in Queensland in hotel quarantine.
Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said health authorities had found two genealogies of the omicron Covid variant in returned travellers in Brisbane and Cairns.
Stay up-to-date on the latest news with The Queensland Briefing - keeping you in the loop with breaking news as it hits.
The first case was detected in Cairns and found in a traveller from Nigeria. All passengers onboard the flight they took from Sydney have been deemed close contacts and thrust into quarantine.
"Those people, because it's a direct flight from Sydney, should all be in some form of quarantine unless they were transiting on elsewhere," Ms D'Ath said.
The second case was detected in a returned traveller from South Africa, however the person tested positive to strain different to the standard Omicron variant, where it doesn't have the “S-gene drop out”.
Deputy chief health officer Peter Aitken said the strain lineage will be flagged as “Omicron-like”.
"We now have Omicron and Omicron-like. It’s a reminder to us all that as we open our borders this doesn’t mean that the Covid journey has finished – in many ways Covid’s journey is just starting."
- Minister Peter Aitken
Chair in Epidemiology at Deakin University, Catherine Bennett, said this “was not new”, with every variant presenting different genes.
“70% or so of omicron variants don’t have the S-gene dropout. We have variation within strains,” Professor Bennett said.
“If they’re connected cases then we would expect it to be omicron or delta. It’s really about what happens on our borders, we should be treating everyone as if they have Omicron.”
- Professor Bennett
Meantime, the health minister has said that while Omicron is a concern, the government's ready for the borders re-opening.
"We're going to make sure that we can do what we can to slow the virus," she said.
"I'm very proud of the arrangement we have in place at the moment which has meant that the international arrivals we have who are coming in positive, are quarantining here."
- Minister Yvette D'Ath
Queensland reported two new Covid cases in quarantine on Wednesday, one from interstate and one from overseas.
Join Tom Tilley with regular rotating co-hosts Jan Fran, Annika Smethurst and Jamila Rizvi on The Briefing, Monday - Saturday, for the day's headlines and breaking news as well as hot topics and interviews. Available on Listnr.