Urgent genomic testing is underway in New South Wales to determine whether two overseas arrivals who tested positive to COVID-19 after landing in Sydney are carrying the new Omicron variant.
A Qatar Airways flight from Doha, which arrived at Sydney Airport about 7pm last night, was carrying 14 passengers from the nine southern African countries affected by the new COVID-19 strain.
NSW Health confirmed this morning that testing on arrival at the airport found two of the passengers have coronavirus.
There are several new measures which will take effect at midnight tonight.
Two travellers from southern Africa tested positive for COVID-19 after landing at Sydney Airport. Authorities are now racing to find if they have the new Omicron variant. (Bloomberg)
Urgent genomic sequencing is being carried out to determine whether they are infected by the new Omicron B.1.1.529 variant.
The passengers with COVID-19 were taken to a special health facility where they will begin 14 days of quarantine.
“Other passengers on the flight may be considered a close contact and will be contacted and requested to get tested immediately, and isolate for 14 days in accordance with a public health order,” the statement from NSW Health said.
“In line with Commonwealth measures, all travellers arriving in NSW who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi, and the Seychelles during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, irrespective of their vaccination status.
“All travellers who have been in any other overseas country during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 72 hours, pending further health advice.”
Anyone who has already arrived in NSW who has been in any of the nine African countries within the previous 14 days must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days.