January 28, 2022

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Some of the 61 Dutch affected probably had an omicron

Some of the 61 Dutch affected probably had an omicron

Illustrative image.
Photo: TASR/AP

Many of the 61 South African (JAR) passengers who were confirmed to have coronavirus upon arrival in the Netherlands were ‘likely’ infected with the newly discovered omicron variant. The Dutch health authorities announced this on Saturday evening, saying that further analyzes were still needed.

Of the nearly 600 passengers who arrived Friday from Dutch carrier KLM from South Africa on Friday at Schiphol Airport, 61 people had tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Immediately after the tests, it was not yet clear whether there were people among them who had an oomicron infection. Dutch authorities called it a possibility on Saturday evening – after the first analyzes.

“The Omicron variant has been found in several test subjects,” AFP quoted a statement from the Dutch National Institute of Public Health (RIVM) as saying.

According to the statement, further analyzes are still needed to determine whether the omicron coronavirus variant is present in the samples taken. Test results will be published during Sunday.

At the same time, RIVM has invited all people who have visited the South African region recently, which includes South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini and Zimbabwe, to get tested even if they showed none. Symptoms and diseases.

The Dutch government has banned flights from South Africa, Botswana and other countries in South Africa since Friday noon. At that time, they had traveled to the Netherlands on two more trips from South Africa. All of their passengers had to pass tests upon arrival. Special sectors have been created at Schiphol Airport for this purpose.

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Passengers who tested positive for the virus have been moved to an isolated, guarded hotel at or near the airport, where they are required to stay for five to seven days.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday identified the newly discovered omicron variant, also known as B.1.1.529, as a “variable of concern”. It is possible that it may be more contagious than the currently globally prevalent delta variant. However, in the case of new variants, it is not immediately possible to distinguish whether they will have serious consequences for public health; Some of them eventually disappear.