Omicron variant spreads in Australia as authorities look to reopen economy

WION Web Team
Sydney Published: Dec 04, 2021, 01:50 PM(IST)

Omicron variant has reached Australia (representative image). Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is spreading in Australia. A cluster in Sydney has already grown to 13 cases. An infection was also suspected to have reached the state of Queensland. The recent developments will test the plans of the authorities to reopen the economy

The new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is spreading in Australia. A cluster in Sydney has already grown to 13 cases. An infection was also suspected to have reached the state of Queensland.  

The recent developments will test the plans of the authorities to reopen the economy.  

Also Read: As fears of new variant looms, Europe surpasses 75 million Covid cases

On Friday, Australia reported its first community transmission of the new variant at a school in Sydney. As the authorities are probing the source, the number of cases is expected to rise.  

On the hope that Omicron may be milder than previous strains, federal authorities seem to be sticking to the plan to reopen the economy. It comes as some state and territory governments are looking to tighten domestic border controls. 

"The public health unit have ruled out that it is Delta but we haven't been able to confirm if it is Omicron. But it is being treated as if it is," state Health Minister Yvette D'Ath.  

Also Read: Omicron highly transmissible, could become dominant, says WHO's top scientist

Authorities in Queensland suspect its first case of Omicron to be a person, who travelled from South Africa. The genome sequencing is still being done.  

On Saturday, authorities in South Australia said that arrivals from Victoria, New South Wales and the capital territory will be tested.   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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