Detailed analysis has shown that the people who have tested positive for the omicron variant so far have probably contracted the virus in several places. “At least not during the flight,” De Jonge wrote to the House of Representatives.
If mutations are monitored more clearly, the new variant has also appeared in other countries, De Jonge continues. “Also in people who have not recently been to southern Africa. This points to a possible circulation of this variant.”
The minister again that “a lot is uncertain” about the functioning of the new variant, which makes people sick and the consequences for the vaccines. However, there are features that may indicate that the virus spreads easily.
Of the more than 600 passengers who died in two planes from Cape Town and Johannesburg at Schiphol, it was previously found that 61 had tested positive for corona. The infected passengers are currently staying in a corona hotel near Schiphol Airport. People with complaints must stay there for seven days. Security is available. On Sunday evening, a couple left the hotel and were later put on the plane by the military police that was about to leave.
In the European Union, 33 people have so far tested positive for the Omikron variant of the coronavirus. They have recently been to Africa. According to the European health service ECDC, possible cases have been found in other countries, but the Omikron variant has yet to be found in them.
All people who have tested positive so far have at most some mild complaints. No one has yet become serious and, as far as is known, no one in Europe has died from the variant.
Corona test street Schiphol
Travelers who have returned from southern Africa since last Monday are urged by De Jonge to be tested and to go into quarantine. From Sunday they can make an appointment via the special number 0800-5005.
People returning from South Africa via Schiphol can also have themselves tested for the corona virus at the airport from Sunday immediately upon arrival. The GGD Kennemerland has set up a special test street at the airport for this.
Employees of the Red Cross transfer the corona patients from Schiphol to the hotel, where they are obliged to quarantine.
ⓒ ANP / ANP
These are travelers from South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Lesotho and Eswatini (Swaziland). An entry ban for non-EU citizens will soon be introduced for these countries. The Dutch can still travel back and forth to southern Africa. Upon return to the Netherlands, they must have a double negative test result and have been in home isolation for at least five days. According to De Jonge, the municipality checks to actually stay at home.
Omicron variant in multiple countries
Belgium was the European country where the variant was used, followed on Saturday by England and Germany. The World Health Organization (WHO) has the variant it has, but has an indication of what the implications for the disease and the implications of vaccine care are.