The state reported two further instances amongst returning travellers on Thursday. Their nations of departure weren’t accessible on the time of publication.
It’s not clear the place the travellers contracted the virus, with many spending time in a number of nations and airport hubs earlier than arriving in Australia, NSW Chief Well being Officer Kerry Chant mentioned.
The upper variety of COVID-19 instances amongst travellers getting back from Pakistan was seemingly attributable to few flights arriving from different locations prior to now week, Dr Chant mentioned. It was not an indicator that the virus was extra prevalent amongst this group of passengers.
She mentioned the nations linked to incoming instances will differ relying on flight schedules and routes.
“The information provides us a window into how COVID has progressively moved from locations the place we initially noticed outbreaks [China, the US, UK and parts of Europe], and entered into various different nations,” Dr Chant mentioned.
“It displays the variety of the place Australians stay and vacation and work abroad … the place we offer help, together with help staff and non-government organisation staff.”
The federal authorities closed borders to all however Australian residents and residents at 9pm on March 20.
Earlier than the clampdown the vast majority of COVID-19 instances have been individuals getting back from the UK and US.
Underneath border guidelines, quick members of the family of a citizen or everlasting resident, and New Zealand residents who stay in Australia may enter the nation. Travellers who’ve compassionate or compelling causes to journey to Australia can apply for an exemption.
Different exemptions embody overseas nationals invited by the federal authorities to help with the pandemic.
The variety of abroad arrivals has plummeted because the border measures have been launched. Between March 21 and Could 31 there have been 178,312 travellers arriving – a 95.6 per cent drop in comparison with the identical interval in 2019, an Australian Border Power spokesperson mentioned.
Since March 29, 103 returning travellers have examined optimistic for the COVID-19 virus (SARS-CoV-2). The UK accounted for the best proportion of imported instances: 18 individuals accounting for 17.5 per cent of all instances in returning travellers.
There have been 17 COVID-19 instances amongst individuals getting back from Pakistan over the identical interval (16.5 per cent of all instances), and 17 instances have been individuals who flew into Sydney after being aboard overseas cruise ships. One other 12 instances have been from the US (11.7 per cent).
Roughly two-thirds of Australia’s COVID-19 instances have been acquired abroad, together with aboard cruise ships. In NSW, returning travellers account for greater than half of all instances (1803 of 3106 instances).
All returning travellers are requested to finish a questionnaire upon arrival. Individuals with signs are assessed by a well being group and examined.
Dr Chant mentioned the information confirmed necessary lodge quarantining was proving to be an efficient technique to detect and isolate infectious individuals.
“That enables us to deal with detecting native transmission with none identified supply,” she mentioned.
Kate Aubusson is Well being Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.