Sydney, Australia, Nov 29 (EFE).- Australia Monday said health authorities detected two new cases of Omicron strain of Covid-19, taking the number of infections due to the “variant of concern” to four in the country.
“Genomic testing has confirmed two more overseas travelers, who recently arrived in NSW< have been infected with the Omicron Covid-19 variant of concern. The total number of confirmed cases of Omicron is now four in NSW.” the New South Wales government said. The statement said the two travelers arrived in Sydney from southern Africa on a Singapore Airlines flight on Sunday. “They are fully vaccinated and isolating in the special health accommodation.” The statement said that everyone in the flight was considered a close contact and would need to test immediately for Covid-19 and isolated for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status. Australia detected the first cases of the Omicron variant after two passengers arrived in Sydney on Saturday on a flight from Doha. They had also traveled to a southern African country. Australia on Saturday banned the entry of travelers who have been to nine southern African countries in the last 14 days. The countries where the new variant originated include South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique, and Seychelles. Australians or residents arriving from these countries are allowed but must comply with a 14-day quarantine at a government-designated facility. Australia had earlier planned to allow the entry of fully-vaccinated students and qualified workers from Wednesday. It had also decided to open travel bubbles with Japan and South Korea. But the authorities met on Monday to review the decisions. Australia has accumulated more than 208,000 Covid-19 infections since the pandemic began two years ago. These include 1,994 deaths so far. EFE aus-esj/ssk