A mutated form of COVID-19 has arrived on the shores of NSW, coming from travellers returning from the UK.
Amid a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases in NSW, travelers that arrived from the UK into New South Wales have tested positive for a mutated strain of COVID-19.
The growing cluster of COVID-19 cases is occurring predominantly within the Northern Beaches of Sydney, prompting renewed lockdowns throughout Australia.
The mutated form of COVID-19 has been spreading across the UK, leading Boris Johnson to enact strict lockdown measures across England.
“We’ve had a couple of UK returned travellers with the particular mutations you’re referring to,” NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said.
“Can I be very clear that the Avalon cluster strain does not have those mutations,” Mr. Chant continued.
The new strain of the virus is believed to be more easily transmitted, and may pose problems for the incoming vaccine, causing uncertainty about its efficacy against the novel strain.
As per ABC, the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has said that:
“The way I look at this, as with every infectious disease, there are three things going on. An environment, host, humans, and the infectious agent.” he said.
“The infectious agent has changed a little, a lot of people moving around in south-east England and have been until the recent lockdown,” Mr. Kelly went on to say.
“It is also winter so those three are important elements to consider. In terms of what that means for people coming from the UK, everyone coming from the UK is going [in] to 14 days of hotel quarantine.”
How this will affect Christmas in NSW remains to be seen.