Queensland has recorded a case of the new South African variant of coronavirus — the first positive case of its kind in Australia

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The strain is thought to be a more contagious variant of coronavirus and has been described by the state’s Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young, as “very concerning”.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the patient was an overseas traveller who arrived in Queensland on December 22.

She said the person has been transferred from hotel quarantine to isolate at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

Speaking at Parliament House, Ms D’Ath confirmed it was the first time the variant had been identified in Australia.

“We are absolutely confident that all proper measures were taken at the hotel and in the transfer and of course at the hospital in relation to this positive case,” she said.

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Health Minister Yvette D’Ath confirmed the new case today.

Dr Young said the new South African variant was “thought to be more contagious”.

“We’ve gone back and double-checked in the hotel, in the transfer and ambulance, and now in the hospital she was in, that there have been no concerns and we’ve not found any concerns there,” Dr Young said.

“But it does reinforce the need that anyone coming from overseas does need to quarantine for 14 days, in a quarantine hotel … [or] go into hospital.

“All our positive cases are being transferred into hospital so we can make hotels as safe as we possibly can.”

The concern comes after South Africa’s health department announced the discovery of the new genetic mutation of the virus earlier this month, and said it might be responsible for a recent surge in infections there.

Queensland has a total of 11 active cases remaining across the state, two of which were acquired overseas.

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