Suspected Omicron Covid case quarantined in Queensland hotel

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Queensland health officials are desperately trying to confirm whether the Omicron variant has entered their state.

A traveler returning from quarantine at a hotel in Queensland is likely to be infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said genomic testing had ruled out the Delta variant, with further testing underway to determine if the person had the Omicron strain.

“The public health unit has ruled out that it is Delta. But we have not been able to confirm that it is Omicron. It’s treated like that. But we don’t know what kind of variant it is, ”Ms. D’Ath told reporters.

Acting health chief Peter Aitken said the positive case, which was in South Africa, had features of Omicron.

“There are genetic changes which mean that he may or may not behave like Omicron, he may behave differently. The most important thing is that they are not in the community,” he told the journalists.

“Our forensic and scientific staff are examining (the case) extensively and have spent the night talking to their counterparts nationally and internationally. “

The potential Omicron case was one of seven new Covid-19 infections reported in Queensland on Saturday.

Two of the cases were acquired overseas and are in quarantine in a hotel, two were acquired interstate and three are local cases.

Ms D’Ath said four of the new cases had spent time in the community while contagious, including a Gold Coast couple who had been in the community for up to 13 days.

The couple tested positive for Covid-19 following the detection of a mystery case on the Gold Coast on Friday.

Ms D’Ath said there had been a new case in Calabar, detected in a person who had visited Adelaide.

Queensland is set to reopen its borders next week, once the state hits its 80% double-dose vaccination target.

Ms D’Ath said the plan was “still on track” but authorities would have “more to say” about it on Monday.

The Queensland government has ordered arrivals from the Greater Adelaide area to enter a 14-day home or hotel quarantine period in response to a growing number of cases in South Australia.

Ms D’Ath said on Saturday that people who have been in the Greater Adelaide area since 1 a.m. on November 28, entering Queensland after 1 a.m. on December 5, will have to undertake two weeks of quarantine.

Anyone who arrives in Adelaide state before 1 a.m. tomorrow will need to get tested and self-isolate until a negative result is returned.

Travelers arriving after 1 a.m. on December 6 must be tested negative for the Covid PCR test within 72 hours of arrival.

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