Health authorities have issued a warning over a new Omicron subvariants on the rise across the country as experts expect they will soon become the dominant strains.
Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 have been both detected in Queensland and NSW, with cases rising in recent months.
On Thursday, authorities from both states on issued an alert amid concerns the variants could result in a wave of new Covid cases.
'It is expected the Covid-19 sub-lineages BA.4 and BA.5 will become the dominant strains in coming weeks,' NSW Health tweeted.
'This is likely to result in an increase in infectioons, including in people who have previously had Covid-19.'
In a similar warning, QLD Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard estimated the variants would become the main strain within 'two weeks'.
However, he stressed that intensive care admissions remains low for all strains of the virus, which was a testament to the efficacy of vaccines.
'We must stress that all Covid-19 variants can cause severe illness, especially in vulnerable people,' Dr Gerrard said.
'We strongly encourage Queenslanders to remain up to date with their boosters, particularly those over 65 years of age and those with impaired immunity,' he said.
'This virus will continue to mutate so we all need to remain vigilant and responsive by staying home when sick, washing your hands regularly, keeping your distance from others where possible and wearing a face mask when you can’t.'
Queensland recorded 4970 new Covid cases overnight and five deaths, with 512 people in hospital, including six in ICU.
In NSW, there were 9203 positive tests, 26 deaths, with 1500 hospitalisations, including 53 people in ICU.