Netherlands: 61 South African passengers test positive for COVID, variant exists ‘probably’

The Dutch health authorities said, on Saturday, that the Omicron variant “probably” caused COVID-19 contamination of some of the 61 South African passengers who tested positive after arriving in the Netherlands on Friday.

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“It is likely that an Omicron variant will be found among those tested,” the National Institute of Public Health (RIVM) said in a statement, adding that it “will be determined whether an Omicron variant was involved” after further analysis, the results of which should be known Sunday.

RIVM also recommends that travelers who have recently returned from South Africa – which includes South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini (Swaziland) and Zimbabwe – get a test. symptoms”.

The Dutch Health Authority (GGD) announced on Saturday that about 61 passengers from Johannesburg and Cape Town (South Africa) tested positive for Covid-19 when they arrived in Amsterdam on Friday, while another 531 tested negative.

The positive cases have been placed in quarantine at a hotel near Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

The new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, which was first detected in South Africa, is considered “worrying” by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned Friday night that it poses “high to very high” risks to Europe.

It may represent an increased risk of infection compared to other variants, including delta, which are currently prevalent and already highly contagious.

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More countries are suspending travel to and from South Africa to limit the use of Omicron. The anxiety it causes plunged global stock markets and oil prices, dealing another blow to the global economy in full recovery.

Entry into the Netherlands from South Africa is only allowed for Dutch nationals, from EU countries, and residents of the Schengen area, who must submit a negative Covid test and self-isolate after arrival.

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