Dutch health authorities announced on Sunday that 13 passengers who departed South Africa and were diagnosed with COVID-19 upon arrival in Amsterdam on Friday are carriers of the Omicron variant.
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“The Omicron variant has so far been identified in 13 positive tests. But the investigation is not over yet. The new variant can be found in other samples,” the National Institute of Public Health (RIVM) said in a statement.
The results of the test of 61 passengers from Johannesburg and Cape Town showed positive results when the plane landed in Amsterdam, while the result of the test for 531 passengers was negative.
The positive cases have been placed in quarantine at a hotel near Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
“We urge people coming from this region to get tested as soon as possible,” Health Minister Hugo de Jong said during a press briefing. “It is not unreasonable that there are more cases in the Netherlands,” he continued.
The Minister commented again, “We are concerned, but we do not yet know how far we should be.” “The World Health Organization said it’s kind of worrisome, but only the next few weeks will show that.”
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned Friday that the new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, first detected in South Africa, poses “high to very high” risks to Europe.
More and more countries are closing their doors to travelers from South Africa – South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini (Swaziland) and Zimbabwe – to avoid the spread of Omicron, which is already in many countries, from Israel to Australia via Hong Kong.
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