Health  authorities of the country said on Sunday,The omicron variant of the coronavirus, which is being considered to be highly infectious and capable of undergoing frequent mutations, has now made its way to Australia.

In a statement, the eastern state of New South Wales’ health authority said that two passengers who arrived in Sydney from southern Africa tested positive for Covid-19, following which the results of an urgent genomic test showed that it was caused by Omicron, which has already been classified as a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organization .

Both these passengers came to Sydney from southern Africa on November 27 , the statement said, adding that they underwent testing on arrival and tested positive for Covid-19 late at night.

Notably, these two passengers were among the 14 people from southern Africa who arrived on the Doha-Sydney Qatar Airways flight on Saturday evening. After two of them tested positive for Covid-19, the other 12 have been sent to 14 days of hotel quarantine in the special health accommodation.

The travellers, who tested positive for the omicron variant, were asymptomatic and fully vaccinated, too. They are currently in isolation at a special health accommodation provided, the federal health department added.

On the other side of the world, Europe has also detected cases of the omicron variant across the continent, with UK prime minister Boris Johnson imposing new measures to stem the spread. Countries across Europe are tightening their own travel restrictions as suspected omicron cases rapidly emerge.

Austria also registered its first suspected case of a person infected with the omicron variant of the virus. Authorities in Tyrol, on the border with Germany, said the fully-vaccinated patient travelled back from South Africa three days ago and wasn’t showing any symptoms.

Starting on Saturday, Switzerland required passengers coming from the UK to show proof of vaccination and negative Covid-19 tests upon arrival.Beginning on December 1, Spain will also only begin allowing vaccinated travellers arriving from the country.


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