Australia confirmed its first cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant Sunday as the state of New South Wales reported two cases of the new COVID-19 strain detected in South Africa.
The state government said it had confirmed that two travelers who arrived in Sydney on Saturday from southern Africa were infected with the variant.
The travelers were both vaccinated and had no symptoms, the state government said.
After departing southern Africa, they took a Qatar Airways flight from Doha, arriving in Sydney on Saturday evening.
Both tested positive for COVID-19 late that night before genome sequencing confirmed the Omicron variant on Sunday, according to a report by Reuters.
About 260 people, passengers and crew, were on the Qatar Airways flight, according to the state government. Twelve other passengers from southern Africa were isolating in hotels, it said.