NSW COVID update: Omicron case visits chemist in western Sydney as state reports new cases

New South Wales has reported another marginal increase in daily COVID-19 cases.

There were 271 new cases of COVID within 24 hours to 6 p.m. 20 Wednesday.

There were no new deaths.

The vaccine rate continues to climb toward 95 percent of the first dose, with 94.6 percent of the population over 16 getting their first shot.

About 92.5 percent are fully vaccinated.

Signage at Sydney International Airport in Sydney.
Signage at Sydney International Airport in Sydney. Credit: JAMES GOURLEY/AAPIMAGE

This comes after New South Wales on Wednesday night reported its sixth confirmed case of the new strain of COVID-19.

The Cabramatta man in his 40s arrived by plane QR908 from Doha to Sydney on November 25 and tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The man, who spent six months in Nigeria, is fully vaccinated but was in the community before being tested positive.

Chemist Warehouse in Liverpool has been listed as the only new exposure site, where everyone there on Monday night between 20.10 and 20.15 was encouraged to seek testing and isolate until a negative result is returned.

Professor Blakely says that Omicron must be 'getting out of the pandemic card we've been waiting for.
Professor Blakely says that Omicron must be ‘getting out of the pandemic card we’ve been waiting for. Credit: Getty Images

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the government is not considering another shutdown.

“The challenge for us as a government and the other governments … is to find a different balance than the ones we had before,” he said.

While the government advises caution, the state’s residents seem concerned.

The number of tests in NSW rose by more than 23,000 between Monday and Tuesday – an increase of more than a third – as people responded to the news of Omicron’s arrival.

A similar increase occurred in the number of cases, with 251 detected on Tuesday and 179 on Monday.

Sir.  Hazzard said he and Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet
Sir. Hazzard said he and Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet “are not interested in seeing a return to the lockdown”. Credit: BIANCA DE MARCHI/AAPIMAGE

At least two people have been in the community with the variant in NSW and they have not been required to isolate themselves after landing in Australia before the rules were changed on Saturday.

Since then, arrivals from eight worrying countries in southern Africa have been quarantined for two weeks.

All other international arrivals in NSW and Victoria are now required to isolate for 72 hours at a designated address until they have returned a negative PCR test. They then have to isolate themselves again while waiting for the results of another test on their sixth day back in the country.

– With AAP

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