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Ómicron: Netherlands located new variant of coronavirus a week before restricting flights

The Institute of Public Health of Netherlands located the omicron variant in two test samples that had been collected on November 19 and 23, a week before the arrival of the two flights of South Africa with 61 passengers infected with coronavirus, including 14 cases of this new variant.

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As the Institute (RIVM) announced on Tuesday, the samples collected for a PCR gave a special reaction in the tests to detect an anomaly in the peak protein of SARS-CoV-2, which “Gave rise to the suspicion that it was the omicron variant”, so they were subjected to a special analysis to confirm.

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“On November 29, it turned out that the two samples were indeed the omicron variant. It is not yet clear whether the affected people have also been to southern Africa ”, explained the RIVM, which has already contacted those involved in these tests to initiate an investigation into the circumstances in which they have been infected.

Last Friday, 624 passengers flying on two flights from South Africa were tested for coronavirus at the same Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, and of the total, 61 tested positive.

Their samples were also analyzed and the presence of 14 cases of the omicron variant.

“During the laboratory investigation, different types of virus strains of the omicron variant were found. This means that the affected people probably got it separately, from a different source and in a different place. “the RIVM added today.

Last Friday the Dutch Government declared a ban on air traffic from several countries in the south of Africa for fears of the new variant.

In addition, he urged about 5,000 travelers who had returned from Botswana, Swazilândia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namíbia, Zimbabwe or South Africa, since last Monday to take a test, even if they do not have symptoms of covid-19, and regardless of whether they are or not vaccinated.

In addition to a flight ban, southern African countries were now “classified as very high risk areas”, which implies “a quarantine obligation” and the submission of two tests to travelers from these countries, one of they must be less than 24 hours.


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