NSW Health urgently contacting returned travellers after possible transmission of South Africa varia …

nsw health urgently contacting returned travellers after possible transmission of south africa variant

NSW Health officials are scrambling to contact a number of returned travellers they fear could have been exposed to the South African variant of COVID-19 in a quarantine hotel in Sydney.

Contact tracers are trying to determine whether there was a transmission of the South African strain of COVID-19 inside the Mercure Hotel in Sydney after three returned travellers who stayed in adjacent rooms tested positive.

An individual traveller and a family of two, all staying on the 10th floor of the Mercure Hotel on George St in Sydney’s CBD, tested positive during quarantine.

Genomic testing showed they had the same viral sequence for the B1351 variant, first identified in South Africa.

Authorities are hunting down any other returned travellers who stayed there between April 7-12.

Camera IconThree returned travellers tested positive for the South African variant of COVID-19 at the Mercure Sydney. Supplied Credit: Supplied

NSW chief health officer, Dr Kerry Chant, said contact tracers had spoken to 36 of 40 people who had stayed on the 10th floor during that time.

“A number have gone into other states and territories and (those states) have been contacted,” Dr Chant said on Thursday…

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