Australia live news updates: Scott Morrison considering response to Omicron strain; five Covid deaths in Victoria; new NSW flood warnings

Australia live news updates: Scott Morrison considering response to Omicron strain; five Covid deaths in Victoria; new NSW flood warnings
© Photograph: James D Morgan/Getty Images A passenger awaiting their PCR test for Covid 19 at Sydney airport. The Australian government is expected to update travel advice for those travelling to or from countries where Omicron Covid variant found.

LIVE – Updated at 00:10

Follow live.

 

00:10

New South Wales health says it is “working closely” with the federal government and other states and territories “to rapidly understand the implications of the new Covid-19 variant of concern, Omicron.

No cases of the Omicron B.1.1.529 variant of concern of Covid-19 have been identified in NSW to date.

NSW Health is urging all travellers who have been in southern Africa, including South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, and Eswatini, in the 14 days before arriving in Australia to get a COVID-19 test and isolate immediately. All people in the household should also isolate until further notice. Travellers who have been in southern Africa are asked to call NSW Health on 1800 943 553.

NSW Health is also contacting all international travellers who have arrived in the last 14 days by text message and phone asking anyone who has been in southern Africa to get a test and isolate and to remind all other travellers of their testing requirements.

The emergence of this new variant reinforces the critical importance of all fully vaccinated travellers who return from overseas complying with the NSW Health guidelines; there are requirements to be tested and restrictions on attending certain high-risk premises.

People who have arrived from overseas must have a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours of arriving and another test around day six. Travellers who have not been in southern Africa are not required to isolate while waiting for their results unless they have symptoms. If symptoms present at any time after arrival travellers should get tested at a PCR drive-through clinic or other COVID testing facility.

ACT records seven new Covid cases

00:09

The Australian Capital Territory (which now has 96.7% of people aged over 12 double-vaccinated) has recorded seven new Covid-19 cases.

Morrison and Hunt considering response to Omicron Covid variant

26 Nov 2021 23:49

We’re expecting an announcement from the Australian government in the coming hours to detail measures in response to the newly discovered Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Health minister Greg Hunt said yesterday there were no plans to restrict flights from South Africa or elsewhere in response to the development.

Overnight, US, the UK, Europe and a host of other jurisdictions placed travel restrictions on southern Africa.

The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age are reporting that the prime minister, Scott Morrison, Hunt, the health department secretary, Brendan Murphy, and the chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, met early this morning to discuss what measures might now be necessary.

 

26 Nov 2021 23:46

We expect to hear from the federal government at 12.30pm (AEDT).

 

26 Nov 2021 23:12

Some significant flood warnings for NSW rivers from the BOM.

⚠️Updated Moderate to Major #Flood warning issued for the #BelubulaRiver at #Canowindra and #MandageryCreek at and #EugowraTown. Major flooding is possible at #EugowraTown. See https://t.co/AdztI2rqg1 for details and updates; follow advice from @NSWSES. #NSWFloods pic.twitter.com/fGM9VoXpOc

— Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales (@BOM_NSW) November 26, 2021

 

26 Nov 2021 22:40

Stephen Sondheim, the master craftsman of the American musical, has died at the age of 91.

A big loss.

 

26 Nov 2021 22:36 Peter Hannam

Burrendong’s storage level rose 10 percentage points in 24 hours – including a 0.5% rise per hour for five hours – requiring overnight dam releases that reached 30GL/day before being scaled back to 5GL/day this morning to avoid increasing downstream river levels already rising due to high tributary inflows, WaterNSW said.

Keepit Dam has cut releases almost entirely to avoid adding to a record flood peak in the Mooki River, due to reach Gunnedah later today.

Elsewhere, Chaffey Dam on the Peel River continues to spill in large volumes, while WaterNSW teams are monitoring inflows into Burrinjuck and Blowering Dams on the Murrumbidgee, where successful storage operations are expected to have created sufficient capacity to capture the majority of inflows, WaterNSW said.

The rain should back off for a few days but return for most of eastern NSW by mid next week.

 

26 Nov 2021 22:25 Peter Hannam

Some more info about flooding alerts in NSW.

The state’s inland rivers are a concern. WaterNSW say flows down the unregulated Mooki River in northern NSW appear to be twice the height of any previous flow.

That is headed towards the Namoi River, which is already a major flood threat in places. Towns like Gunnedah and Narrabri may be in for some flood activity.

WaterNSW said it is also continuing to monitor storage levels at the state’s major regional supply dams, almost all of which are receiving constant inflows and are in excess of 90% of storage capacity.

“WaterNSW dam personnel are on round-clock flood operations at several dams, with the Keepit Dam on the Namoi River and Burrendong Dam on Macquarie River the primary regional focal points overnight,” the agency said.

Burrendong Dam (at about 140% full) received huge inflow volumes on Friday which have pushed the storage to almost filling the dam’s 500GL flood mitigation zone.

 

26 Nov 2021 22:23

New South Wales double-dose vaccination rates have hit 94.5% for people over 16.

For those 12-15, the rates are also increasing rapidly. 81.2% have had a single dose; 76.2% are fully vaccinated.

Victoria’s numbers are for all people, aged 12 and over. They hit the 90% double-dose rate earlier this week.

NSW reports 235 new Covid cases

26 Nov 2021 22:20

New South Wales has recorded 235 new cases and zero deaths.

NSW #COVID19 update – Saturday 27 November 2021

In the 24-hour reporting period to 8pm last night:

– 94.5% of people aged 16+ have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

– 92.3% of people aged 16+ have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine pic.twitter.com/9LzA47vls3

— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) November 26, 2021

Five Covid deaths and 1,252 cases in Victoria

26 Nov 2021 22:15

Victoria has recorded 1,252 new Covid-19 cases and five deaths.

We thank everyone who got vaccinated and tested yesterday.

Our thoughts are with those in hospital, and the families of people who have lost their lives.

More data soon: https://t.co/OCCFTAtS1P#COVID19Vic #COVID19VicData pic.twitter.com/149ZChvte8

— VicGovDH (@VicGovDH) November 26, 2021

 

26 Nov 2021 22:04 Peter Hannam

With so much rain in recent weeks and widespread falls in lately there are many flood alerts current in NSW.

Warragamba Dam is spilling this morning at a peak rate of about 60-80 gigalitres a day.

That pace, though, is well shy of the 500GL (or about one Sydney Harbour) that spilled at the height of the March floods.

And the rain should ease up today and for a few days so any flooding on Sydney’s outskirts should be minor for now at least.

 

26 Nov 2021 21:54

Here’s a helpful explainer – everything you need to know about Omicron.

Related: Omicron: everything you need to know about new Covid variant

 

26 Nov 2021 21:54

There’s also some news around for football fans this morning. If the Socceroos end up (as looks likely) finishing third in their World Cup qualifying group, the path to Qatar next year will go through a playoff with a South American country.

At this stage that could be Colombia, Uruguay, Chile or Peru. They’re all good. We are … well, not blessed with our best ever generation of players, frankly.

But then again, who cares about the men’s side when the Matildas have their best ever crop. They play the USA in a friendly this afternoon. Here’s hoping Sam Kerr is passed fit.

 

26 Nov 2021 21:24

The Queensland human rights commissioner, Scott McDougall, says the commission has received a spike in inquiries due to confusion about the state’s Covid border rules.

McDougall said that in the past few weeks, since the Queensland government announced its plans to reopen the state border, more than a third of inquiries had been about Covid issues as a lack of detail had “created a vacuum where misinformation is able to be spread”.

“We’re very much aware of the confusion and the lack of clarity for people trying to make sense of our border reopening plans,” McDougall told Guardian Australia.

“Since they were announced a couple of weeks ago Covid issues have been the subject of over a third of all our inquiries – at times nudging 40% – and almost all those are in relation to the restrictions after borders reopen.

Related: Queensland Human Rights Commission flooded with inquiries due to Covid border confusion

 

26 Nov 2021 21:20

Given the emergence of Omicron, it’s worth reflecting on this piece from Nyasha Chingono about how some of southern Africa’s “white garment” churches have undermined vaccination rollouts.

Related: ‘We are protected by prayers’: the sects hampering southern Africa’s vaccine rollout

 

26 Nov 2021 21:16

We should hear more about the Australian government’s response to Omicron later today.

Meanwhile the European Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has followed the World Health Organisation and classified it a “variant of concern”.

A report published by the ECDC says: “[It] is the most divergent variant that has been detected in significant numbers during the pandemic so far, which raises concerns that it may be associated with increased transmissibility, significant reduction in vaccine effectiveness and increased risk for reinfections.”

 

26 Nov 2021 20:53

Good morning everyone and welcome to Saturday. This is Ben Smee in Brisbane bringing you the weekend version of Guardian Australia’s live news blog.

As always, there’s a bit to get through.

All eyes are on Australia’s reaction to the new and stronger Covid variant threatening to spread from southern Africa.

The latest variant, given the name Omicron by the World Health Organisation and listed as a variant of concern on Saturday morning, first emerged in Botswana and has been detected in South Africa, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium.

It has double the number of mutations as the Delta variant that sparked a third wave of outbreaks and lockdowns in Australia this year.

Australian health minister Greg Hunt previously said “the world is looking and learning about the strain … if the medical advice is that we need to change, we won’t hesitate.”

Parts of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria are on flood watch for the second weekend in a row. A Queensland man died in floodwaters yesterday, and authorities have issued some fairly serious warnings. Severe thunderstorms are likely to lash most of the east coast.

WaterNSW confirmed this morning that Warragamba Dam started spilling shortly after 9pm last night.

“Preliminary estimates are that the spillway outflow could peak at a rate of approximately 100 gigalitres per day (GL/day), one-fifth of the March spill event that peaked at 500GL/day.

“Inflows to the dam storage are rising as a result of multiple recent rain events, with latest rates of >38 GL/day expected to rise and showers to persist.”

It’s Saturday, so that can only mean one thing. That’s right, it’s anti-vaccination rally day. There are a few protest marches scheduled, including the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Canberra. We’re not expecting anything on the same scale as last weekend, but will keep you abreast of anything relevant.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

U.S. embassy calls for calm, dialogue after brawl in Honduras' Congress

© Reuters/FREDY RODRIGUEZ FILE PHOTO: Honduran lawmakers brawl during Congress installation, in Tegucigalpa By Gustavo Palencia TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) – The United States embassy in Honduras on Saturday called for calm ... Read more »

Calling the Sydney festival boycott ‘censorship’ is a disingenuous attempt by those in power to silence Palestinians

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Brendon Thorne/EPA In early December 2021, Palestinians and Arabs representing a diversity of creative, activist and academic practice approached the board of Sydney festival ... Read more »

German navy chief resigns following Ukraine comments

BERLIN — The head of the German navy resigned late Saturday after coming under fire at home and abroad for comments he made on Ukraine and Russia. Speaking at an ... Read more »

How To Get Rid of Dandruff: Dermatologists Share the Best Treatments, Natural Remedies & Tips

Table of Contents How Common Is Dandruff? What Causes It? Dandruff-Fighting Ingredients You Need To Know The Best Dandruff Shampoos DIY Dandruff Treatments If you’ve ever noticed the tell-tale white ... Read more »

Wissenschaftler entmachtet, Studierende diskriminiert, Fördermittel gekappt: Forschung und Industrie rufen Bund um Hilfe

Nach dem Aus des EU-Rahmenvertrags flog die Schweiz aus dem grössten Forschungsprogramm Europas. Jetzt schildern ETH, Unis und Pharma in einer brisanten Resolution an den Bundesrat die Konsequenzen. © EPA ... Read more »

President Biden offers prayers for slain, injured NYPD Officers Jason Rivera, Wilbert Mora

President Joe Biden said he’s “grateful” for the “extraordinary sacrifice” of NYPD Officers Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera. AP; Twitter President Joe Biden said Saturday that he and the first ... Read more »

Dogs are now allowed on Governors Island for the first time ever

Dogs are now allowed leashed, or unleashed if inside the new fenced-in dog park behind Liggett Terrace, at the island. Stephen Yang Victoria Kam normally walks her year-old miniature schnauzer, ... Read more »

Prince Andrew should be probed by Buckingham Palace over bullying claims just like Meghan Markle, ex-royal officer says

PRINCE Andrew should be probed by Buckingham Palace over claims he bullied Palace staff – just like Meghan Markle, an ex royal cop has said. The palace launched a probe ... Read more »

BSP commends police for arrest of BDO hackers

© STAR/File BSP commends police for arrest of BDO hackers MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has commended law enforcement agencies for the swift arrest of several ... Read more »

Transfer news LIVE: Real Madrid want £80million Bellingham, Erling Haaland LATEST, Lingard to Newcastle UPDATE

THE January transfer window is in full swing, and deals are being completed all across Europe! Chelsea and Tottenham are in a battle to sign highly-rated Lille striker Jonathan David. ... Read more »

Portal issues hit e-nomination; EPFO says amid high user visits

© Provided by The Indian Express The mandatory process for updating nominee details for subscribers of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is facing issues with users reporting glitches in the ... Read more »

Arsenal opt for Dubai camp as Arteta aims for 'best possible' rest

Arsenal will travel to Dubai after Sunday’s Premier League clash with bottom club Burnley as Mikel Arteta aims to have the ‘best possible’ break to get a fully fit squad. ... Read more »

Dignitas shock defending LCS champions 100T, advance to 2022 Lock In semifinals with clean sweep

© Provided by Dot Esports Just two weeks into the 2022 LCS season, upsets have been plentiful. Today, Dignitas chalked up another unlikely victory, defeating defending LCS champions 100 Thieves ... Read more »

Disney Twisted-Wonderland Tier List: The best characters in Disney Twisted-Wonderland

© Provided by GamePur Disney Twisted-Wonderland is a gacha game where players utilize different characters to progress. Although several characters are available in the game, some are simply better than ... Read more »

Kate Hudson Shows Off Impressive Cooking Skills While Making Meatless Lasagna

© Provided by People Kate Hudson/Instagram Kate Hudson is making magic happen in the kitchen. The How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days star, 42, took her 14.5 million ... Read more »

Brian Flores isn't perfect choice, but should be next Giants' coach

If you want Brian Flores as the next head coach of the New York Football Giants, the bad news is that he is not a perfect candidate. The good news ... Read more »

Money from the child care credit nearly quadruples this tax season: What you need to know

© Provided by CNET The effective increase in the value of the child and dependent care tax credit is about 381%. Sarah Tew/CNET Monday, Jan. 24 marks the start of this ... Read more »

Jason Holder exerts his Bridgetown hold once more as England come a cropper

© Getty Images Jason Holder returned career-best figures to rout England at Bridgetown once again © Getty Images It was Kieron Pollard who put it best: “When it comes to ... Read more »

How to unlock cards in Yu-Gi-Oh Master Duel | Crafting, shop, and more explained

© Provided by Dot Esports Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is now live. The new title lets players collect more than 10,000 cards and duel in a dedicated Solo Mode or against ... Read more »

Should Titans interception have counted? Or did the ball hit the ground first?

The spirit of instant replay reviews is plays should only be overturned if there is conclusive evidence the call on the field was wrong. NFL officials don’t often follow that.  ... Read more »

Korda holds slight lead going into final day of LPGA opener

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Nelly Korda is just ahead of a stacked field going into final round of the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions — the LPGA’s 2022 kickoff ... Read more »

I love BBC but my daughter and other youngsters don't… that is its problem

THERE is a generational moment coming for the BBC and nothing Nadine Dorries, Gary Lineker nor anyone else can say, do or tweet will stop it. Because the young do ... Read more »

Red alert: New Zealand prepares for thousands of Omicron cases a day with community spread

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images Omicron has breached New Zealand’s borders and started spreading, Jacinda Ardern has said, meaning the entire country will be placed on ... Read more »

BBM hits Twitter 'disinformation'

THE camp of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (BBM) on Saturday hit back at an online news network over its apparent attempts to discredit its campaign by using a ... Read more »

My ex disappeared so he didn't have to pay child support – I catfished him to get his new address & he owes me £16k

A WOMAN explained that she tracked down her ex after he disappear without paying child support for two years and catfished him to get his address. She then passed the ... Read more »

Bengals CB Mike Hilton makes phenomenally athletic interception vs. Titans

The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t been known to spend a lot of money in free agency. But they invested a $24 million deal into former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton this ... Read more »

Scream & Friends Star Courteney Cox Controls Shine With This Nostalgic Makeup Product

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SheKnows may receive an affiliate commission. Now we’ve heard every little step in Friends alum ... Read more »

Joe Mixon touchdown gives Bengals 16-6 lead

The Bengals got off to a hot start in the second half and now have a solid lead over the Titans. Though the club had just 7 yards rushing at ... Read more »

Packers-49ers Live Blog: San Francisco Looks to Upset Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

© Provided by Sports Illustrated Can San Francisco continue their late-season magic, or will the reigning MVP put an end to their post-season hopes? Follow along for live coverage here. ... Read more »

Netflix’s New #1 Movie Is a Must-Watch Royal Rom-Com

There’s a new number-one movie on Netflix and suffice it to say we’re intrigued, because it looks like The Prince & Me meets Beauty Shop. This newly-released romance, titled The ... Read more »

The Atlantic Daily: Six Poems to Bring You Comfort This Winter

© Provided by The Atlantic We’re fumbling our way through another challenging January. Writers and editors from around our newsroom share the poems that they’re turning to this month. Then: ... Read more »

With new AG, Virginia takes new position on abortion case

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s new attorney general has altered the state’s position on a closely watched abortion case before the U.S. Supreme Court, with his office now saying it should ... Read more »

Lottie Moss wows in plunging dress for stunning seashore photoshoot

LOTTIE Moss looks simply marble-ous as she poses for a seashore photoshoot. The 24-year-old dazzled in a plunging and partially see-through marble print PrettyLittleThing dress. She soaked up the sun ... Read more »

I'm a mum-of-four under 3 — I fell pregnant with twins when my first were 7 months… people always feel sorry for me

DIAGNOSED with endometriosis as a teen, Kirsty Hannam, 32, from Frome, Somerset, was told she’d probably never have children of her own. Here she shares her twin-credible journey to multiple ... Read more »

I woke up and I'd forgotten 20 years – I had to grieve for dead relatives again & couldn't remember my kids' birthdays

CLAIRE Muffett-Reece, 43, a journalist, lives in Braintree, Essex, with husband Scott, 44, who runs a shop-fitting company, and sons Jack, 11, and Max, nine. Here, she reveals what it ... Read more »

My sons always tell me off for my skimpy outfits, they were mortified by my short shorts on holiday, says Frankie Bridge

FRANKIE Bridge is a girl’s girl. Having been in The Saturdays since she was 18, she loves being around other women and knows more than most how unhelpful it is ... Read more »

From tackling tricky boss to resigning – kick-start your work life

TEMPTED to join the Great Resignation or keen to transform your job without quitting? Here’s how to kick-start your work life this year. We give you tips on how to ... Read more »

Crete and Croatia both offer sparkling seas and sunny skies – which is best?

It’s time to look ahead and book a trip where sparkling seas meet sunny skies. But will you choose Greece or Croatia? Fall in love with island life at TUI ... Read more »

Italy: Silvio Berlusconi drops presidential bid

© Provided by DW Berlusconi said he had enough support, a claim doubted by analysts and coalition partner Matteo Salvini Italy’s Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi dropped plans to run ... Read more »

Jacinda Ardern puts all of New Zealand on Red Alert

Jacinda Ardern has announced she will delay her own wedding after putting all of New Zealand on Covid Red Alert.  The Prime Minister said that from 11:59pm on Sunday night ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic