A child who has been living in Sydney’s north shore for the past week has been confirmed as a case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, casting doubts over the usefulness of NSW’s two-tiered quarantine system for international arrivals.
NSW Health says it is “concerned” transmission of the variant may have occurred on board flight QR908 from Doha on Tuesday, November 23, as the child – whose parents are also COVID-positive – had not spent time in southern Africa.
Meanwhile, a passenger on Sunday’s Singapore Airlines flight SQ231, who had recently been in southern Africa, also tested positive to the new coronavirus variant yesterday, bringing the total number of Omicron cases in NSW to eight.
Anyone who was on either flight is considered a close contact of a COVID-19 case and must get a PCR test and self-isolate while waiting for further health advice.
The total number of Omicron cases detected in Australia to date stands at nine (a case was detected at the Howard Springs quarantine facility in the Northern Territory earlier this week). While it’s early days, authorities suspect the new variant is as or more infectious as Delta – although possibly less severe.
Read more about the situation in NSW here.