Queensland records first case of Omicron strain of COVID-19

An overseas arrival has tested positive to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Queensland's hotel quarantine system. Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath confirmed the traveller, who flew from Nigeria to Cairns, has returned a positive result for the highly infectious strain. The man flew to Queensland on Jetstar flight JQ950 from Sydney to Cairns on Friday, December 3, and everybody on that flight has now been deemed a close contact. LIVE UPDATES: Omicron variant case in Queensland Another man, from South Africa, has also tested positive for an Omicron-like variant. Queensland Acting Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken said a separate lineage of the Omicron variant has been detected in the hotel quarantine case who travelled from South Africa. Unlike the conventional Omicron variant, it does not have the "S-gene drop out" feature, he said. Dr Aitken said the unusual lineage would be classified as "Omicron-like". "We now have Omicron and Omicron-like, it's a reminder to ..

An overseas arrival has tested positive to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Queensland's hotel quarantine system.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'Ath confirmed the traveller, who flew from Nigeria to Cairns, has returned a positive result for the highly infectious strain.

The man flew to Queensland on Jetstar flight JQ950 from Sydney to Cairns on Friday, December 3, and everybody on that flight has now been deemed a close contact.

LIVE UPDATES: Omicron variant case in Queensland

Cairns International Terminal

Another man, from South Africa, has also tested positive for an Omicron-like variant.

Queensland Acting Chief Health Officer Peter Aitken said a separate lineage of the Omicron variant has been detected in the hotel quarantine case who travelled from South Africa.

Unlike the conventional Omicron variant, it does not have the "S-gene drop out" feature, he said.

Dr Aitken said the unusual lineage would be classified as "Omicron-like".

"We now have Omicron and Omicron-like, it's a reminder to us all that as we open our borders this doesn't mean that the COVID journey has finished, in many ways the COVID journey is just starting," he said.

The state today recorded no new COVID-19 community cases, but two transmissions were detected in quarantine over the past 24 hours.

READ MORE: NSW cases jump to 403, as expert warns of Omicron 'wake up call'

A total of 79.1 per cent of Queenslanders are fully vaccinated, Ms D'Ath said.

Ms D'Ath said the government was seeking advice on reducing the amount of time fully vaccinated close contacts have to spend in isolation.

Close contacts exposed to COVID-19 may only need to isolate for seven days, according to the new rules under consideration.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D'ath.

"About 83 per cent of people are turning up positive in the first seven days, that means 17 per cent are positive after seven days, so if we are allowing people to leave quarantine who have been exposed to a positive case after seven days, there are likely to be people who turn up on day 12 positive and who are in the community," she said.

"So we all need to prepare ourselves for the fact that there will be many many more cases in Queensland."

The health minister also condemned the controversial anti-vaccination remarks by Nationals MP George Christensen as "ongoing dangerous behaviour".

Mr Christensen laughed when the host of a far-right conspiracy theorist show compared Australian quarantine facilities to WWII concentration camp Auschwitz.

"I absolutely condemn his behaviour … the Palaszczuk government condemns it," she said.

Ms D'Ath said Prime Minister Scott Morrison had been reluctant to condemn the rogue Coalition MP.

"We have just heard crickets from Scott Morrison."

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