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Omicron cases in NSW: Eighth case confirmed in returned overseas traveller

NSW Health has confirmed an eighth case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the state.

The infected person arrived in Sydney on Flight SQ231 from Singapore on Sunday 28 November.

The traveller is fully vaccinated but had recently been in southern Africa, NSW Health said.

They are now in hotel quarantine.

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NSW Health is requesting every person who was on flight SQ231 from Singapore to Sydney on 28 November to immediately get their first COVID-19 PCR test if not already completed, and isolate until they receive a negative result.

They must also get tested on day 6 after arriving in NSW, which is this Saturday, December 4.

The infected person arrived in Sydney on Flight SQ231 from Singapore on Sunday 28 November.  Credit: AAP

All travellers arriving in NSW who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Malawi during the 14-day period before their arrival in NSW must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.

Anyone who has already arrived in NSW who has been in any of the eight African countries within the previous 14 days must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, and call NSW Health on 1800 943 553.

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All passengers must monitor for symptoms and if any symptoms occur, get tested again.

Any passengers arriving from overseas aged 18 years and over who are not fully vaccinated must go directly into 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine.

Earlier on Thursday, NSW Health confirmed a seventh case of Omicron in a child who is too young to get vaccinated.

The child’s parents have also tested positive to COVID-19.

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Genomic sequencing is underway to confirm whether they also have the Omicron variant.

Booster shots encouraged

Health Minister Brad Hazzard is urging everyone who is eligible to get a booster shot to maintain protection, after a 40 per cent increase in the uptake since last week.

Mr Hazzard said 500 previously tested swabs of travellers who had returned to NSW since November 22 had been re-tested to ensure they did not contain the Omicron strain.

The jury is still out on whether the latest strain is more dangerous and could overwhelm hospitals, or merely more transmissible and able to replace stronger variants.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard is urging the state’s residents to get a COVID vaccine booster jab. Credit: AAP

NSW figures

There were 271 cases recorded in NSW in the 24 hours until 8pm on Wednesday from 81,877 tests, and no deaths.

It is less than two weeks before more restrictions are lifted in NSW, when the unvaccinated will be able to return to hospitality venues and all shops.

Some 94.6 per cent of people 16 and older have had one vaccine dose while 92.6 per cent of adults have had both.

More than 81 per cent of teens aged 12-15 have had one shot while 76.8 per cent are fully vaccinated.

There are 144 people in hospital, including 24 in ICU and 10 ventilated.

– with AAP

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