Omicron variant detected in 13 of 600 people who came to the Netherlands from South Africa

Omicron variant detected in 13 of 600 people who came

The Dutch Public Health Agency (RIVM) announced that Omicron, which is stated to be the most contagious variant of the coronavirus, was detected in 13 of 600 people who came to Amsterdam from South Africa on Friday morning.

This is the highest case of Omicron variant detected in EU countries so far.

Stating that 5 thousand people have come to the Netherlands from South Africa since Monday, health authorities expect the Omicron variant cases to increase further.

The tests of 61 out of a total of 600 passengers on the two planes that landed at Amsterdam Schipol Airport from Cape Town and Johannesburg in South Africa were positive.

As a result of the examination, it was determined that 13 of these patients were infected with the worrying Omicron variant.

RIVM reported that since the beginning of the week, the investigation into passengers arriving from South Africa to the Netherlands is still ongoing, so more Omicron variant cases may emerge.

Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge urged everyone returning from South Africa to get tested and stay in home isolation for a while.

Of the 600 passengers who returned from South Africa on Friday, 61 people who tested positive were placed in mandatory quarantine at a government-run center near Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport.

These people will be tested twice. Those who do not comply with the quarantine will be fined.

Those who tested negative were allowed to leave the airport. However, these people have to stay in quarantine at home for 5 more days.

Passengers arriving in the Netherlands from “high-risk” African countries, where European Union (EU) countries have imposed a temporary flight ban, will be subject to mandatory quarantine at home.

A separate test center has been established for passengers from Africa from Schipol Airport. These passengers will have limited contact with others at the airport.

According to De Jonge, it is not possible to ban all flights from South Africa because Europeans always have the right to return to their countries.

Minister de Jonge said that they are worried about the Omicron variant emerging in the Netherlands.


Emphasizing that it is the most contagious variant according to the World Health Organization (WHO), de Jonge said, “How much we should worry” will become clear next week.

The Dutch government will consult with the EU authorities in the new week. It is stated that new additional measures can be implemented in the light of developments.

Before the decision of the European Union (EU) member countries to ban flights to South Africa on Friday, 2 flights were made by KLM Airlines from this country to the Netherlands.

Upon the call of EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, 27 EU member states decided on a temporary travel ban to 7 African countries, including South Africa, on Friday afternoon.