Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

Both of the recently confirmed cases are fully vaccinated and are now in special health care facilities.

Genomic testing on Sunday confirmed that two overseas travelers arriving in Sydney had been infected with the new variant of coronavirus.

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Picture for read more article 'What we know so far about Omicron, the new COVID-19' variant of concern ''

Both passengers were symptom-free when they arrived on Saturday night and are in isolation in the Special Health Home. Both are fully vaccinated.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said that 141 people have come to the state from the nine countries of concern in the last 24 hours and that all have been sent in hotel quarantine for 14 days.

Although he has ordered all international arrivals to quarantine at home for 72 hours, Mr Perrottet insisted that NSW’s international and state borders would remain open.

The three-day quarantine order is on top of a federal government requirement that travelers be quarantined for two weeks if they have been to South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi or the Seychelles within the last 14 days .

“Ultimately, we need to open up to the world (and) we need to make it safe,” he told reporters Monday.

“We do not need to have a knee-jerk reaction, we need to have a proportionate and balanced response to the situation that lies ahead.”

“The answers should not be ‘Let’s shut down’.”

Dominic Perrottet encourages NSW to learn to live with COVID

Sir. Perrottet also stressed that NSW was better equipped to confront new variants.

“We need to learn to live with the variants of the virus that are coming our way,” he said.

“And the vaccination rate here is one of the highest in the world.

“That is not the case in the South African nations.”

The premiere has said there are no plans to adjust the state’s reopening roadmap, which has restrictions eased for the unvaccinated on Dec. 15.

However, restrictions will be tailored in response to the variant if necessary, he said.

Meanwhile, the state added 150 new infections to its caseload on Monday.

For the fifth day in a row, no new deaths were reported.

Hospitals treat 170 patients, five more than the day before, including 25 people in intensive care. Ten requires ventilation.

NSW is 94.5 percent single-dose for all 16 years and older, while 92.4 percent are fully vaccinated.

Of the 12- to 15-year-olds, 81.3 percent have received one plug and 76.5 percent both.

Omicron arrives in the Northern Territory

The Northern Territory has confirmed that a man in quarantine at the Center for National Resilience in Howard Springs is infected with the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

This is the first case of the new variant discovered in the area.

The man in his 30s arrived in Darwin on a return flight from South Africa on Thursday, and his positive virus result was confirmed on Friday night.

Meanwhile, NSW has registered its third possible Omicron COVID-19 case, while health authorities in Victoria are waiting to see if a visitor to the state was infected with the new variant.

It happens when two more residents of the Binjari Aboriginal community were diagnosed with the virus.

“It’s not unexpected,” NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles said Monday about ongoing infections in the community.

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Image for read more article 'Australia's reopening for visa holders delayed by two weeks to wait for more Omicron information'

A 17-year-old girl who was a household contact in another case was in the Howard Springs facility when she was diagnosed.

A 19-year-old woman was infected while locked inside the community, about 330 km south of Darwin.

That brings the current outbreak to 58 cases.

Meanwhile, the first round of tests in the remote community of Lajamanu, 900 km south of Darwin, has returned negative.

More test results will be presented late on Monday.

“Everything looks positive, but it’s definitely early,” Ms Fyles said.

The community of about 1,000 was put on hold Saturday after the virus was discovered in sewage samples.

Lajamanu has a low vaccination rate, with only about 35 percent of residents having double dosed.

Mrs Fyles said 20 doses had been administered since Saturday.

Lajamanu remains locked.

Binjari is in a tough barrier, with residents only being allowed to leave their homes in an emergency or for medical treatment.

Greater Katherine, 320 km south of Darwin, is under lockout.

Victorian visitors cleaned for Omicron variant

A man who visited Victoria from NSW after visiting a country with the Omicron COVID-19 variant does not have the new virus strain.

“The case does not have the Omicron variant. The Ministry of Health will provide new advice for relevant identified contacts in this case,” the department confirmed in a statement Monday night.

The state registered an additional 1,007 new COVID-19 infections and three deaths Monday.

In the health chief’s daily release, the department confirmed that they interviewed a person from NSW who had been to one of nine countries of concern and then visited Victoria.

This person has since returned to NSW and tested positive for COVID-19.

The case was “infectious and asymptomatic” as well as fully vaccinated when they traveled to Victoria.

The health department sends text messages or Service Victoria app alerts to anyone who may have come into contact with the case.

People at lower risk have been instructed to get a test and isolate themselves until they get a negative result.

“The Ministry of Health is taking a conservative approach to the designation of this person’s close contacts,” the CHO statement said.

“Further contact tracing work is underway and is likely to provide more contacts.”

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