At least two Amsterdammers have tested positive for the omikron variant of the coronavirus without having traveled. This means that they have contracted this contamination here and the new variant is happening locally. This is shown by research by the GGD and the Amsterdam UMC. This may be the start of the advance of the omikron variant in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, says OMT member and virologist Menno de Jong.
It was not obtained: the new worrying variant of the corona virus, which has been given the name omikron, has been announced between Amsterdam. That is today, after research on samples from Monday, came to be big.
About two weeks ago, South Africa first reported the new variant, which is an immediate start to the current dominant delta variant. Airspace in the Netherlands was closed to southern Africa soon after the discovery. “Given the number of positive travelers in recent weeks, it is expected that at some point it will be within the community, closing the airspace,” says virologist from Amsterdam UMC and OMT member Jong, who is involved in the project. the research.
When the new variant appeared in South Africa, it was decided in Amsterdam to scale up future variant surveillance, in order to identify a possible omikron contamination in Amsterdam at an early stage. De Jong: ”In close collaboration with the GGD, we have looked at about two hundred known samples per week in recent months to monitor the emergence of the delta variant and other known variants, but in recent weeks we have increased that to something like this’ n 200 a day. To maximize the chance of being caught and to be able to determine as early as possible when the spread would start.”
According to the virologist, it is not important to do this because Amsterdam is often a gauge for water in the rest of the country that is going to happen. “Just like we’ve seen before, it’s spreading a little faster here because we’re living closer. We are now over a week further and from materials from the day before yesterday, with this more intensive surveillance, we have identified two samples of people with no travel history.”
Time is being watched by the number of omikron infections in transport. “Data available that this variant variation is and perhaps the vaccine also works a little less well than against the other variants. There is then a good chance that the delta variant will be pushed aside. It is very important to keep a finger on the pulse and thus monitor the rate of spread. In countries around us, such as in Denmark and England, the number of omikron infections is increasing significantly. You can also see the spread in the community there,” said the OMT member.
From the first results from yesterday – Tuesday – Monday’s two cases do not seem to be coincidental findings: from those come five possible new omikron infections. Confirmation of these cases, including a decision on future travel history, is expected tomorrow.
The moment that omikron does indeed appear to be effective, it will also be closely monitored with which variant people are admitted to hospital. Stories that omikron would make you less ill than the other variants are still far from certain. De Jong: ”The risk of risk is in any case not greater, it seems. But in South Africa, in addition to the number of omikron infections, the number of hospital admissions is also increasing.
According to De Jong, it is useful that we establish early that omikron is in Amsterdam. “It is a primary variant, so the most important thing is that people stick to the basic measures – distance, washing hands, ventilating and testing. That works well to slow the spread. Hopefully the current date is omikron “spreading among us” the current situation lockdown is of course before we knew about the existence of variant but in the light variant of this is very well done in retrospect to prevent too rapid emergence, says the OMT member.