Australia Overseas students to fly to Australia in DAYS despite Omicron panic

02:16  29 november  2021
02:16  29 november  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

Fears new Covid super-variant Omicron ALREADY is already in Australia

  Fears new Covid super-variant Omicron ALREADY is already in Australia Health Minister Greg Hunt on Saturday announced Australia would be joining Europe and the US in closing its borders to nine southern African countries to stop the new variant from entering the country. There are though 20 returned travellers quarantining in the Northern Territory who were repatriated from South Africa last week - one of whom has tested positive to Covid.Health officials in the Northern Territory are expected to confirm whether or not the infected case has the hyper-virulent new variant later on Saturday evening.

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Australia's national security committee will revisit the country's scheduled reopening to students and visa holders in light of the new COVID-19 Omicron strain.

The committee will meet on Monday afternoon to look at whether Australia can reopen to double-dosed visa holders, skilled workers and international students from Wednesday as scheduled.

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Federal, state and territory leaders are also expected to meet within the next 24 hours to consider Australia's response.

More than 200,000 international students and skilled migrants are set to return to Australia from December 1.

Is it inevitable the Omicron variant of COVID-19 will spread like Delta?

  Is it inevitable the Omicron variant of COVID-19 will spread like Delta? The emergence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus shows Africa needs greater access to vaccines, experts say. There are also warnings we shouldn't give up masks, social distancing or contact tracing in Australia.The federal government on Saturday announced that non-Australian citizens who have been in nine countries in southern Africa where Omicron has been detected are barred from entering Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged calm after the strain was confirmed in two fully vaccinated people travelling from southern Africa who arrived in Sydney over the weekend.

'It is important we just calmly and carefully consider this information, work together, take the decisions that are necessary and that is exactly what everybody is doing,' he told the Seven Network on Monday.

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Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said authorities were looking closely at what Omicron meant for viral transmission and the efficacy of vaccines.

'It does transmit from person-to-person quite readily, at least at well as the Delta virus. And so that means that it will spread,' he told ABC television.

'In terms of the vaccines, there is no solid evidence at the moment that there is a problem with that. Although we will wait for further advice and laboratory studies in coming days and weeks.'

PM 'fully supports' action by NSW and VIC with Omicron fears growing

  PM 'fully supports' action by NSW and VIC with Omicron fears growing The Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said he 'fully supports' the action taken by New South Wales and Victoria amid growing fears over the super-contagious Omicron strain of Covid-19. But Dr Paul Griffin, Director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health in Brisbane, said it was still too early to judge the risks of Omicron.'I don't think we're back to square one. I mean, I think a lot of us thought this is what this virus is going to keep doing, going to keep evolving and we are going to keep finding new variants,' he told ABC.

Between December 1 and January hundreds of thousands of foreign students and eligible migrants are expected to return to Australia, despite ongoing fears over the new variant.

Fully vaccinated South Koreans and Japanese will also return from the same date if they hold a valid visa. They are exempt from quarantine.

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Agriculture Minister David Littleproud urged people not to panic because the rise of new variants was inevitable.

'We are going to have to open up and we're going to have to learn to live with this and the variants that will come,' he told the Nine Network.

'We can't panic. We need to work through this with science, not emotion.'

Australia has shut its borders to nine southern African countries, while states have brought in new isolation rules for international arrivals.

The South African doctor who alerted authorities to the new variant emphasised the strain did not appear to cause severe illness.

TWO confirmed cases of fears Omicron Covid strain are found in Sydney

  TWO confirmed cases of fears Omicron Covid strain are found in Sydney NSW Health announced on Sunday urgent genomic testing had confirmed two overseas travellers have the South African variant of the virus.NSW Health confirmed on Sunday urgent genomic testing found the two travellers who touched down in Sydney on Saturday night have the new strain.

A man in his 30s came to see Angelique Coetzee suffering from fatigue, body aches and pain before he and his family tested positive.

'They were not very sick, none of them were extremely sick,' Dr Coetzee said.

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Labor's NDIS spokesman Bill Shorten said the Omicron strain highlighted the need for an effective quarantine system.

'I don't think that 72 hours is enough. And if we don't want to have more severe restrictions, then quarantine is our front-line of defence,' he told ABC TV.

Meanwhile, Victoria on Sunday reported 1061 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths, and NSW 185 additional infections.

There were seven new cases in the ACT and four in the Northern Territory where the remote community of Lajamanu is in lockdown until December 11.

Nearly 87 per cent of Australians aged 16 and older are fully vaccinated.

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Omicron 3 times more likely to cause reinfection than previous COVID variants: researchers .
South African scientists say the risk of reinfection from the omicron COVID-19 variant is at least three times higher than for any previous variant. In the preliminary study, researchers looked at approximately 2.8 million positive coronavirus infections between March 2020 and Nov. 27, 2021, and 35,670 suspected reinfections were identified. From this retrospective analysis, the group said increases in primary infection were observed following the introduction of both the beta and delta variants, but no corresponding increase was observed in the reinfection hazard.

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