Covid Presser
Covid Presser

NSW family test positive to mutant virus

A family-of-four in NSW hotel quarantine have tested positive to the worrying South African mutation of COVID-19, NSW Health has revealed.

Like the UK strain, which is believed to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible than earlier version of the virus, the South African strain is passed on at an alarming rate.

Since November 30 NSW has also detected six cases of the UK strain of coronavirus.

Dr Kerry Chant has confirmed the South Africa strain of COVID-19 has been detected in returned travellers in Special Health Accommodation in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
Dr Kerry Chant has confirmed the South Africa strain of COVID-19 has been detected in returned travellers in Special Health Accommodation in Sydney. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard

NSW chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant said that the "possible" South African mutation virus cases in the family were detected on Thursday night.

"Preliminary tests arriving last night, identified a group of four travellers in the Special Health Accomodation, who are positive for the new COVID variant identified in South Africa," Dr Chant told media on Friday.

"Further testing is under way to confirm these results, but as a precaution the 16 people who were accompanying that flight (those four people were on), have, as a precaution, moved to the Special Health Accomodation.

"That is because there are concerns that this South African strain does share a similar mutation from the UK, but may be associated with increased transmissibility."

Special Health Accommodation is for people in police-managed hotel quarantine who test positive for COVID-19 and may require extra medical attention.

Acting Premier John Barilaro said there were four new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw
Acting Premier John Barilaro said there were four new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm last night. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

"That is why we are taking a very cautious approach there," Dr Chant said.

Dr Chant said NSW had detected six cases of the UK strain since November 30 and two remained in the special accommodation while the other four were no longer deemed infectious.

She said two of those remained in the Special Health Accomodation.

"(These cases) will be cleared when they are assessed to be no longer infectious," Dr Chant said.

Originally published as Sydney family test positive to mutant virus


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