Omicron present in the Netherlands since November 19, before South Africa

Omicron present in the Netherlands since November 19 before South

The new variant of Covid-19 is spreading and worrying the world. The Dutch health authorities announced on Tuesday, November 30 that they had already detected Omicron in a test taken on November 19. That is almost a week before the announcement of the case by South Africa.

The Omicron variant has already been detected in two test samples taken in the Netherlands on November 19 and 23, the Dutch Institute for Health and Environment (RIVM) said on Tuesday. Checks are underway to see how far it has spread, reports our correspondent in Brussels, Pierre Bénazet.

The Netherlands reported on Monday 14 passengers arriving from South Africa carrying Omicron. However, the two samples had been taken even before Pretoria reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) that it had detected this new variant on November 24, causing a wave of panic and a ban on many territories for travelers from the’Southern Africa.

The traceability of cases detected during observation

Other cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in Europe in samples taken before South Africa was even announced. Belgium was notably the first European country to identify the Omicron variant on a patient “ who came from abroad. Positively tested [au coronavirus] November 22 », Had specified on November 26th the Belgian Minister of Health.

It is not yet possible to know “If the persons concerned [dans les cas précédents] also visited southern Africa “, Specified the RIVM, adding that the people tested had been informed and that the municipal health services had started to investigate their contacts.

In the coming period, various studies will be carried out on the spread of the Omicron variant in the Netherlands The Institute said, adding that it would review more samples from previous tests.

With 16 cases now confirmed, the Netherlands has one of the highest figures for contamination by the new variant in Europe at this stage. The threat to the Old Continent is growing, although little is known about Omicron.

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