World Dutch officials find 13 Omicron variant cases among passengers arriving from South Africa
South Africa tries to calm fears over new Covid variant 'Omicron'
Belgium revealed a case of the variant - named 'Omicron' by the WHO overnight - prompting EU chiefs to call for an 'emergency brake' on all travel from southern Africa after it was found in Israel.South African medics moved to calm a wave of panic over a new ultra-infectious and vaccine resistant Covid strain today as its arrival in Europe sparked fears of a new Christmas shutdown.
Authorities in the Netherlands have detected 13 cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant among passengers from South Africa.
Health officials said the infected people were on flights from the southern African nation earlier this week.
A total of 61 people on the planes tested positive for the virus - and 21% of those had.
The two flights in question landed on Friday, arriving from South Africa at Amsterdam's Schipol airport - one of the busiest in Europe.
The Dutch health minister said it was possible that there were more cases of the newvariant in the country.
Dutch authorities check for COVID-19 omicron variant after 61 arrivals from South Africa test positive
Dutch authorities are checking for the omicron variant after 61 passengers on two flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. The passengers who tested positive have been isolated and further investigations are being carried out. NO CASES OF COVID-19 OMICRON VARIANT IDENTIFIED YET IN US, CDC SAYS The planes arrived in the Netherlands from Johannesburg and Cape Town shortly after the Dutch government – like many other nations – imposed a travel ban from southern African nations.
Travel advice for those arriving from the southern parts of Africa has now changed, but cases are already appearing around the world.
Authorities in the Netherlands are trying to get in contact with 5,000 other passengers who have arrived from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia or Zimbabwe since Monday.
So far, the Omicron variant has been identified in the UK, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong, Denmark and Australia.
Many nations are introducing restrictions on people who have arrived from or recently been in southern Africa.
Travel is also slowing to some other destinations - with the first Dubai Airlines flight to Tel Aviv, Israel delayed until further notice having been due to commence on 6 December.
What you need to know about the omicron variant
Omicron is the newest Covid-19 “variant of concern,” according to the World Health Organization.Though the variant’s existence was first reported by South Africa, it has also been found in Belgium, Botswana, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom, meaning the variant has already spread — though how far is unclear, as new cases continue cropping up around the world.
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A new lockdown is due to start in the Netherlands this afternoon - a plan already in place due to a recent surge in cases there.
Bars, restaurants and most shops will be closing at 5pm.
Omicron joins an alphabet of COVID-19 variants — here’s how it differs to those that came before .
There have been 11 COVID-19 strains named by the WHO, including the newly-identified Omicron. But what happened to the rest of them?At present, it is unclear whether Omicron is more transmissible than Delta, which prompted lockdowns across Australia's east coast earlier this year, or if it will impact vaccine immunity.