Dutch health authorities confirmed, this Sunday (28), having found 13 cases of infection by the Ômicron variant among passengers on two flights from South Africa, which landed in the country on Friday.
The new confirmed are among 61 passengers who tested positive for Covid-19 on the two flights, which were carrying around 600 people. Those who tested positive are being held in isolation in a hotel near the airport.
“In our virus sequencing investigations, which are still ongoing, we have so far found 13 cases of the Ômicron variant among the positive tests [dos passageiros] for Covid-19,” the National Institutes of Health said in a statement.
“It’s not unlikely that more cases will show up in the Netherlands,” Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge told a news conference in Rotterdam. “This could be the tip of the iceberg.”
The investigation began by testing everyone who landed at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport from South Africa on Friday, just before the Dutch government changed its restrictions on countries coming from southern Africa due to concerns about the variant .
The discovery of Ômicron, classified as a “concern variant” by the World Health Organization (WHO), has raised concerns around the world that the mutation could resist vaccines and prolong the two-year Covid-19 pandemic. .
Dutch health authorities are looking to contact and test another 5,000 passengers who traveled from South Africa, Botswana, Swatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia or Zimbabwe since Monday (22).
Concerns about the variant arise as many European countries are already facing a new increase in coronavirus cases.
In the Netherlands, new restrictive measures take effect from this Sunday, such as closing bars, restaurants and most stores at 5 pm – an attempt to reverse a new wave of record cases of Covid-19 that is congesting the health system .
*Subject under update
Reference: CNN Brasil