The Dutch health authorities said today that 13 cases of Omicron strain were found on two flights returning from South Africa on November 26.
They were one of 61 passengers who tested positive for Covid-19 on two flights carrying about 600 people.
The National Institutes of Health said: “In the investigation to determine the route of transmission of the virus, we have so far detected 13 cases of Omicron mutation infection among passengers who have tested positive for Covid-19.” Netherlands (RIVM) Announcement.
“It is not ruled out that the Netherlands will record more infections,” Health Minister Hugo De Jonge said at a news conference in Rotterdam. “This may be just the tip of the iceberg.”
The Netherlands began screening all passengers arriving in the country on two flights departing from South Africa at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. After that, the government changed its entry regulations for inbound passengers from South Africa due to concerns about the Omicron gene mutation.
The Dutch health authorities have also tried to contact and test about 5,000 other passengers from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe who have entered since November 22.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Omicron as a “worrying” variant, but warned countries not to rush to implement travel restrictions, adding that they should take “urgent measures based on risk assessment and science.”
Starting today, the Netherlands has enforced the closure of bars, restaurants and most shops before 5 pm to curb the renewed wave of Covid-19.
Wu Huang (follow Reuters)