Mutant Covid strain detected in family as NSW hotspot revealed

Nadine Carroll
·3-min read

A family of four in NSW hotel quarantine have been identified as having a South African mutation of Covid-19.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant told media on Friday a group of four travellers tested positive for the new Covid variant identified in South Africa.

Other passengers on the same flight as the family have also been moved to ‘Special Health Accommodation’ as a precaution.

“Further testing is under way to confirm these results, but as a precaution the 16 people who were accompanying that flight, have, as a precaution, moved to the Special Health Accomodation,” she said.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant addresses media
Dr Kerry Chant confirmed four cases of the South African Covid strain have been identified in NSW hotel quarantine. Source: AAP

‘We are taking a very cautious approach’

Dr Chant said there were concerns the South African strain was similar to the UK strain, and could be just as contagious.

“There are concerns that this South African strain does share a similar mutation from the UK, but may be associated with increased transmissibility,” she said.

“That is why we are taking a very cautious approach there.”

NSW Health also confirmed to media that there had been six people who tested positive to the UK strain of the coronavirus since November 30.

Two of those still remain in isolation.

Westfield Burwood
Those who attended Westfield Burwood on January 6 and 7 have been advised to monitor for Covid symptoms Source: Google Maps

NSW reveals new Covid hotspot

On Friday night, NSW Health announced a number of new alerts for places around Burwood in Sydney’s inner west.

NSW Health issued new casual-contact health alerts for the Artisaint Cafe at the Crowne Plaza Sydney Burwood and the Burwood Bing Lee on the morning of January 6.

Those who attended Westfield Burwood and several shops inside the complex on January 6 and 7 have also been advised to monitor for symptoms, as have patrons of Costume clothes shop at Avalon Beach on Sydney’s northern beaches on New Year's Eve.

A prior alert for Sydney Marina restaurant in Pendle Hill has also been upgraded to a casual-contact alert, meaning patrons must seek testing.

The suburbs north of Narrabeen Bridge on Sydney's northern beaches, meanwhile, have been under stay-at-home orders since before Christmas but that restriction is due to be lifted from Sunday.

Berala cluster grows

On Saturday, NSW reported one new case of Covid-19 attached the Berala cluster in Sydney’s west which now totals 21 cases.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said 25,500 people presented for testing on Friday up until 8pm.

The premier implored people to remain vigilant though.

National cabinet also met on Friday and made the decision to halve the number of international arrivals into NSW.

The state will now take in 1500 each week up until February 15.

with AAP

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