Omicron variant Australia: NSW investigating possible third case of new Covid strain

Photograph: Mark Baker/AP

Scott Morrison brings forward national cabinet meeting to discuss Australia’s response and potential further restrictions

  • Download the free Guardian app; get our morning email briefing

New South Wales is investigating a possible third case of the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 as the premier, Dominic Perrottet, has warned against “knee-jerk” reactions to the new strain.

The NSW health department announced on Sunday that two people who had recently returned from southern Africa had tested positive for the new variant in Sydney.

They were among 141 people to have flown into NSW from the handful of countries in southern Africa which have been subject to increased border restrictions since the new variant was detected.

Related: What does appearance of Omicron mean for the double-jabbed?

They include South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi and the Seychelles.

But on Monday Perrottet said there had “possibly” been a third case, which the state’s health department was investigating

New rules introduced by the government over the weekend mean that people arriving from those nine southern African countries – where the variant was first detected – must undergo 14 days quarantine after arriving in the state. All other international arrivals are required to isolate for 72 hours.

But the premier – who has resisted any changes to the state’s roadmap out of Covid-19 restrictions – warned he was not interested in returning to wide-scale hotel quarantine or heavy-handed restrictions.

“We don’t just need to live alongside Covid, we need to learn to live alongside the variants as well,” he said.

“When there are new variants the response should not be, ‘let’s shut down.’

“Ultimately we need to open up to the world, we need to do so safely, we don’t need to have a knee-jerk reaction, we need to have a proportionate and balanced response to the situation that’s in front of us.”

It comes as Scott Morrison confirmed an urgent national cabinet meeting would be held in the next 48-hours to consider whether plans to reopen the international border to students and visa holders will go ahead as planned.

On Monday prime minister Scott Morrison said it was “too early” to make a decision about whether hotel quarantine regimes should be introduced before Christmas, but urged state leaders to stick to their current plans.

“It is important we just calmly and carefully consider this information, work together, take the decisions that are necessary and that is exactly what everybody is doing,” he told the Seven Network on Monday.

“We have to live with this virus. The fact we’ve had a new variant is not a surprise. We’ve been saying all through the pandemic that new variants also come and we’ll deal with them as they turn up.”

Also on Monday the chief medical officer, Paul Kelly, said authorities were still trying to understand what, if anything, Omicron meant for transmission and the efficacy of vaccines.

“It does transmit from person-to-person quite readily, at least at well as the Delta virus. And so that means that it will spread,” he told the ABC.

“In terms of the vaccines, there is no solid evidence at the moment that there is a problem with that. Although we will wait for further advice and laboratory studies in coming days and weeks.”

The South African doctor who alerted authorities to the new variant emphasised the strain did not appear to cause severe illness.

A man in his 30s came to see Angelique Coetzee suffering from fatigue, body aches and pain before he and his family tested positive.

“They were not very sick, none of them were extremely sick,” Dr Coetzee said.

Labor’s NDIS spokesman Bill Shorten said the Omicron strain highlighted the need for an effective quarantine system.

“I don’t think that 72 hours is enough. And if we don’t want to have more severe restrictions, then quarantine is our front-line of defence,” he told the ABC.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

‘The worst luck’, ‘At least it’s happened during the transfer window’ – Plenty of Blackburn fans react to significant player update

Blackburn Rovers have been dealt a heavy blow, after it was revealed that new signing Dilan Markanday is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Markanday only joined Blackburn in ... Read more »

Pep Guardiola beats Jurgen Klopp and Sir Alex Ferguson to another Premier League record

Pep Guardiola became the fastest manager to reach the landmark of 500 points in the Premier League following Manchester City ’s draw at Southampton on Saturday evening. City saw their ... Read more »

Maha: Court orders MNS functionary to pull down party office set up illegally on temple trust land

A court in Thane has ordered a functionary of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to pull down within a month his party’s public relations office set up “illegally” on a ... Read more »

Rajasthan Governer's Twitter account hacked

The Twitter account of Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra was hacked on Sunday, sources in the Raj Bhawan said. The hacker also posted a tweet in the Arabic language from the ... Read more »

India got political independence 75yrs ago but economic independence still elusive for millions: Manik Sarkar

Former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said on Sunday that India got political independence 75 years ago but <a href="/tag/economic-independence“>economic independence still remains elusive for millions of Indians. Speaking at ... Read more »

Devin Singletary Player Prop Bets for the NFL Playoffs - Buffalo vs. Kansas City

Discover player props odds, plays, and insights for Devin Singletary in his NFL Playoffs contest with the Buffalo Bills against the Kansas City Chiefs. © Provided by Sports Illustrated Dec ... Read more »

Inside the Secure Community Network, the organization training Jewish communities to protect themselves

© courtesy Secure Community Network When the survivors of last weekend’s attack on a Texas synagogue talk about why they’re alive today, they point to two factors. One is the ... Read more »

US detains smuggling ship, UK seizes drugs in Mideast waters

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The U.S. Navy announced Sunday it seized a boat in the Gulf of Oman carrying fertilizer used to make explosives that was caught last year ... Read more »

Cricket star SLAMS Mark McGowan's 'gut-wrenching' decision to keep the WA border closed - even after admitting eliminating Omicron is impossible

Mitch Marsh said Mark McGowan's continued border closure is 'gut-wrenching'Australian cricket star revealed he hasn't been home since July last year All-rounder said teammates are motivated to help Aussies doing it tough  Read more »

Prince Harry has contacted Prince Charles for 'friendly video calls' and 'wants to be closer to his family' and 'back in the fold' ahead of Queen's jubilee

Prince Harry has 'reached out to his father' to hold secret talks ahead of spring US-based royal and his family were expected to come to the UK for the Duke of Edinburgh 's memorial service and the Queen's Jubilee over the summerRow over the police providing their security has called their return into doubtSource says he is now 'coming back into fold' and 'wants to be closer to family'  Read more »

'It feels really nice and right': Charlotte Crosby discusses relationship with boyfriend Jake Ankers and being 'in love' with herself

Charlotte Crosby has spoken out about her new boyfriend Jake Ankers and loving her body after years of of struggling with her weight. The reality star, 31, has revealed that ... Read more »

Video: Tory civil war deepens over islamophobia row: Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi demands probe after former minister Nusrat Ghani says she was told she was being  sacked because of her 'Muslimness' - but chief whip brands claim 'defamatory' 

Read more »

Boy, 16, is stabbed to death in Manchester: Murder probe launched as family say they are left 'devastated'

A 16-year-old boy has been tragically killed after being stabbed in StretfordPolice called to  Thirlmere Avenue, in Stretford, shortly before 7pm last nightTeen was treated at scene before being taken to hospital where he later diedBoy's family have been notified by officers and have been left  'devastated'  Read more »

Europa-Resolution von ETH, Unis und Pharma: Die Forschung entlarvt die Politik

Wo sind eigentlich all die Meinungsführer, die vor dem Abschuss des Rahmenabkommens einen Plan B ankündigten? © Bereitgestellt von Blick Foto: Thomas Meier. Zürich, 09.06.21. Portraits der Blick Redaktion Zürich. ... Read more »

Vatican fraud trial to resume with boost for prosecution

1 / 2Vatican fraud trial to resume with boost for prosecutionView of 60 Sloane Avenue in London By Philip Pullella VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican's landmark fraud and embezzlement ... Read more »

Jasmin Savoy Brown: 'Scream 5' monologue was 'exciting and terrifying'

© IANS Jasmin Savoy Brown.(Photo:IMDB.com) Los Angeles, Jan 23 (IANS) Actress Jasmin Savoy Brown says performing her ‘Scream 5’ monologue was “exciting and terrifying”, and she has expressed her love ... Read more »

Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan wrap up Laxman Utekar's film, Sharib Hashmi shares photos: ‘Dream team…'

© Provided by Firstpost Vicky Kaushal and Sara Ali Khan wrap up Laxman Utekar’s film, Sharib Hashmi shares photos: ‘Dream team…’ Director Laxman Utekar has been filming his next untitled ... Read more »

New parents Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas cosy up in unseen photo with friends

© Provided by Pinkvilla Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas collectively sent the Internet into a meltdown when they announced that they had welcomed their first child via surrogacy. The couple, ... Read more »

Kristen Wiig and Willem Dafoe make SURPRISE appearances in Will Forte's opening monologue on SNL

© Provided by Pinkvilla Will Forte finally got a chance to host Saturday Night Live, nearly 12 years after he starred as a cast member on the show. In his ... Read more »

Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin's Yash Pandit marries girlfriend Mahima Mishra

Yash Pandit and Mahima Mishra got married on January 22. Ghum Hai Kisikey Pyaar Meiin actor Yash Pandit got married to his girlfriend Mahima Mishra on Saturday, January 22, at ... Read more »

The BBC: A People's History by David Hendy review – inside the nation's ‘moral improver'

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Mirrorpix/Getty Images With the culture secretary Nadine Dorries’s announcement last week that the licence fee will be frozen for two years, the BBC’s future ... Read more »

Transfer news LIVE: Aston Villa open talks for Rodrigo Bentancur

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo The January transfer window is now open and active for Premier League sides  Clubs will have until 11pm on Monday, January 31 to ... Read more »

Hyundai retires unwell Solberg at WRC Monte Carlo due to fume issue

The Swede, who started Sunday’s action in 48th place overall, managed to complete the first stage of the final day before Hyundai confirmed they would retire the entry, with both ... Read more »

Africa's health boss seeks to tempt expat medics to come back home

During the pandemic, the UK and other rich nations have relied on African doctors and nurses to shore up their health services. © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Kim Ludbrook/EPA ... Read more »

India vs South Africa, 3rd ODI Live Score: India Claim Two Wickets in the Powerplay Overs

© Provided by News18 India vs South Africa, 3rd ODI Live Score: India Claim Two Wickets in the Powerplay Overs India vs South Africa, 3rd ODI Live Score: Indian captain KL ... Read more »

PH logs 29,828 new Covid-19 cases

© Provided by The Manila Times THE Department of Health logged 29,828 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, pushing the total number of infections to 3,417,216. Of the 273,580 active cases, ... Read more »

UK accuses Russia of trying to install pro-Kremlin gov’t in Kyiv

© Provided by Al Jazeera Thirty-two percent of Ukrainians are willing to enlist in ‘popular resistance units’ as tensions with Russia mount [File: Anna Kudriavtseva/Reuters] The UK has accused the ... Read more »

Dreaming about spending March Break abroad? Here are some risks to consider

If the call of beaches or European cafés is becoming too much to resist, one travel expert suggests planning ahead is key to preventing your trip from becoming a logistical nightmare. ... Read more »

The exotic plants that love life in the UK

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Getty Images One of the most wonderful (and peculiar) things about gardening is the seemingly universal desire to defy climate to create landscapes that ... Read more »

The glowing praise for 'excellent' Man City loanee Tommy Doyle proves only positive for Cardiff City as substitution explained

There were very few positives in that disappointing Severnside derby loss for Cardiff City, but Tommy Doyle was undoubtedly one of them. The Manchester City loanee was thrown straight into ... Read more »

Inside Anne Frank's final days as ‘sunny, smiley' girl was turned into ‘walking skeleton' wrapped in lice-infested rags

STANDING pale as a ghost, Anne Frank shivered as she hauled stones in the blistering cold – while Nazi guards hurled insults around her. Forced to sleep in a freezing, ... Read more »

Eddie Vedder says Pearl Jam will work with producer Andrew Watt on their next album.

© Bang Showbiz Eddie Vedder on next Pearl Jam album Eddie Vedder says Pearl Jam will work with Andrew Watt on their next album. The ‘Alive’ group’s frontman had the ... Read more »

UK lawmaker Nusrat Ghani claims she was fired from ministerial job for her 'Muslimness'

© Provided by Zee News LONDON: A British lawmaker has said she was fired from a ministerial job in Prime Minister Boris Johnson`s Conservative government partly because her Muslim faith ... Read more »

Arsenal vs Burnley predicted line-ups: Team news ahead of Premier League fixture today

© Getty Images Burnley have not played in the Premier League for three weeks – Getty Images We are rapidly heading towards the end of January and Burnley have still ... Read more »

Chelsea vs Tottenham prediction: How will Premier League fixture play out today?

© AFP via Getty Images Chelsea need a win – AFP via Getty Images Chelsea take on Tottenham Hotspur in the London derby in the Premier League on Sunday as ... Read more »

Is Crystal Palace vs Liverpool on TV tonight? Kick-off time, channel and how to watch Premier League fixture

© AFP via Getty Images Liverpool are looking to remain unbeaten in the Premier League in 2022 – AFP via Getty Images Following Chelsea’s draw with Brighton in midweek, Liverpool ... Read more »

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool live stream: How to watch Premier League fixture online and on TV tonight

© Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool are looking to keep their slim title hopes alive – Liverpool FC via Getty Images Liverpool travel to Crystal Palace with the knowledge ... Read more »

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool: Prediction, kick off time, TV, live stream, team news, h2h results - preview

© ES Composite PLCrystalPalaceLiverpool2122.jpg While Liverpool’s trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday will be not quite as dramatic as their infamous 3-3 draw there in 2014, it is still a ... Read more »

Chelsea FC vs Tottenham: Prediction, kick off time, TV, live stream, team news and h2h results - preview today

© ES Composite PLChelseaTottenham2122.jpg Weeks ago, the notion of Chelsea’s visit of bitter rivals Tottenham being anything close to a potential battle for the top four would have sounded strange. ... Read more »

Crystal Palace vs Liverpool prediction: How will Premier League fixture play out?

© Getty Images Palace drew with rivals Brighton last time out – Getty Images Crystal Palace’s newly rejuvenated squad have adapted to Patrick Vieira’s ideas quicker than many people thought ... 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