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A traveller who arrived in Sydney from Nigeria is ‘likely’ to have Omicron variant

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Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the man flew into Sydney on Thursday on on flight QR908 from Doha – the same flight as the Central Coast woman who was the fifth case.

The man, from Cabramatta in Sydney’s southwest, has been circulating in the community and there will be a list of exposure sites from NSW Health later on Wednesday.

“The reason he was tested is he does have symptoms. But I understand at this point they’re mild symptoms,” Mr Hazzard told reporters.

“He’s been out and about. My alert to the community is watch what happens today in terms of advice from Health (NSW).

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“If you have been in those same locations at the relevant times, please go and get tested,” he said.

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When confirmed, the new infection will bring the total number of confirmed cases of Omicron in NSW to six.

Mr Hazzard said the government was not considering another lockdown.

“As one who has delivered that news, bad news, to the community on many occasions, I feel like it’s time for a change in approach,” he said.

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“We don’t know how many more variants of this virus are going to come.

“The challenge for us as a government and the other governments … is to strike a different balance to the ones we had in the past.”

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When national cabinet met on Tuesday, the federal, Victorian and NSW governments agreed they were “not keen to see a return to lockdowns”.

The emergence of the new variant has seen the number of people getting booster shots increase by 40 per cent, Mr Hazzard said.

A fully vaccinated woman in her 30s became the state’s fifth confirmed Omicron case on Tuesday, and unlike the two cases confirmed on each of the previous two days, she had visited a number of venues on Friday and Saturday last week.

The woman is isolating at home on the Central Coast and will not be fined because she arrived before new mandatory quarantine came into effect.

Brad Hazzard announces sixth case of Omicron variant discovered in NSW


On Saturday federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced people arriving from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Malawi are required to enter hotel quarantine for two weeks.

The other four people NSW Health genomically confirmed have the Omicron variant are in special health accommodation.

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Two others on the woman’s Thursday flight from Doha have also since tested positive, and neither had been in southern Africa.

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On Wednesday, the penalty for non-compliance with isolation, testing and quarantine requirements increased from $1000 for individuals to $5000, and doubled from $5000 to $10,000 for corporations.

NSW requires all international arrivals be tested and isolate for 72 hours at a nominated address or accommodation.

NSW has recorded 251 news cases of COVID-19 and no deaths. There were 85,403 tests undertaken in the 24-hours until Tuesday.

Some 94.6 per cent of people 16 and older have had one vaccine dose, while 92.5 per cent are fully jabbed.

More than 81 per cent of teenagers aged 12-15 have had one vaccine dose, 76.7 per cent have had both.

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