September 26, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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The changing aura of Omikron among Amsterdam residents with no travel history, a possible start to progress

The changing aura of Omikron among Amsterdam residents with no travel history, a possible start to progress

At least two Amsterdam residents have tested positive for the omikron variant of the coronavirus without traveling. This means that they have caught this infection here and are spreading the new variant locally. This is evident from research by GGD and Amsterdam UMC. This may be the beginning of the advance of the omikron variant in Amsterdam and the Netherlands, says OMT member and virologist Mino de Jong.

It was coming and the experts were not surprised: A worrying new variant of the coronavirus, dubbed omikron, is now spreading among Amsterdam residents. It was established that day, after testing samples from Monday.

South Africa

About two weeks ago, South Africa first reported the new variant, which is probably much more contagious than the current dominant delta variant. Airspace in the Netherlands was closed to South Africa shortly after the discovery. says virologist from Amsterdam UMC and OMT member Mino de Jong, who is involved in the investigation.


When the new variant appeared in South Africa, it was decided in Amsterdam to expand the so-called variant monitoring, in order to identify possible omicron contamination in Amsterdam at an early stage. De Jong: “In close collaboration with GGD, we looked at about two hundred random samples per week in recent months to follow the emergence of delta and other known variants, but in recent weeks we have increased that to such a number of 200 per day. To maximize the chance of getting caught and thus being able to time the spread start as early as possible.

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According to the virologist, it is important to do this because Amsterdam is often an indicator of what will happen in the rest of the country. “Just as we’ve seen in the previous variants, it’s spreading a little faster here because we live close to each other. We’re now over a week, and from the material from the day before yesterday, with this intense monitoring, we’ve identified two samples of people with no travel history.”


In the coming period, it will be monitored whether the number of omicron infections increases. “Available data suggests that this variant is more contagious and that the vaccine may work less effectively than the vaccine against other variants. So there is a good chance that the delta variant will be brought out. It is very important to keep your finger on the pulse and monitor the speed of spread. In countries around us, such as Denmark And in England, the number of omicron infections is increasing dramatically.The OMT member said: You can also see the spread in the community there.

The first results of the search on samples from yesterday – Tuesday – do not seem to indicate that the two cases from Monday are coincidental discoveries: from that sample come five new possible infections with the omicron. Confirmation of these cases, including a decision on any travel history, is expected tomorrow.

The moment the omicron appears to be spreading significantly, the different people who are admitted to the hospital will also be closely monitored. Stories that omicron will make you less sick than other types are still far from certain. De Jong: It seems that the risk of serious illness is by no means greater. But in South Africa, in addition to the number of omicron infections, the number of hospitalizations is also increasing.

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According to De Jong, it is useful to establish early that omikron is in Amsterdam. “It is a more contagious variant and so it is very important for people to adhere to the basic measures – maintaining distance, hand washing, ventilation and testing. This is working well to slow the spread. Hopefully awareness that omikron ‘among us’ will increase compliance with these measures” although the evening closure The current one was put in place before we knew this variant existed, given that variant, it is timed well afterwards to prevent speed spreads to prevent this, according to the OMT member.