In the Netherlands, 61 passengers on two planes that returned from South Africa on Friday tested positive for Covid-19. It is not yet clear if it also relates to the new omikron variant. Two infections in Hong Kong already indicate that the new variant is highly contagious.
KLM flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg landed at Schiphol Airport in quick succession on Friday, with about 600 people on board. The passengers of the two planes were separated. The local municipal health service (GGD) has received instructions from the Dutch Ministry of Health to test them for coronavirus.
Meanwhile, all travelers who have arrived in the Netherlands from South Africa since last Monday have been recalled for testing as soon as possible. Outgoing Health Minister Hugo de Jonge wrote in a letter to the lower house, the Dutch parliament, that people who have tested positive for the virus should be quarantined.
The injured are housed in a secluded, guarded hotel. “They stay there for at least seven days if they have complaints and five days if they have no complaints,” a GGD spokesperson said. Anyone who gets a negative test result should be isolated at home for five days to be tested again five days later.
It is not yet clear whether the infected passengers have contracted the omikron variant of the coronavirus. This should later be demonstrated by follow-up research conducted by the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.
Entry ban in Belgium
There are no direct flights to our country from South Africa. However, there is already one with us Infection detected. Currently, an entry ban has been imposed on everyone who has been in South Africa in the past two weeks. The only exception is for Belgians and people who mainly stay here.
High viral load
The novel coronavirus variant was first identified in South Africa and is causing concern in Europe and elsewhere around the world. Omikron may be more contagious than the other variants, and there is also uncertainty about the effectiveness of current vaccines.
Two infections in Hong Kong make scientists fear the worst for infections. Epidemiologist Eric Weigl said the PCR tests on both men, who had tested negative a few days earlier, had a value of 18 and 19. – Ding.
According to data from the Hong Kong government, the omikron variant was brought in by a South African traveler, who had been in a quarantine hotel since arriving on November 11. On November 13, he passed a positive test. It is suspected that the man – despite strict isolation – infected a sixty-year-old man in the room opposite him in the quarantine hotel. Test results showed the sixty-year-old man tested positive on November 18, in his fourth PCR test.
The number of countries taking measures to reduce the spread of the variant is increasing. After Belgium, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Israel, among others, Brazil also wants to restrict air traffic from South Africa. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, Ciro Nogueira, announced this Friday evening, local time.
Two infections with the new variant have now been identified in the UK.
US President Joe Biden has called for more Corona vaccines to be provided to poor countries. Referring to the new Corona variant, Omicron, he said Friday evening that “the news about this new alternative makes it clear that this epidemic is not over until we have global vaccines.”
Biden also said that the United States has so far provided more vaccines than all other countries combined. It also calls again for the abolition of intellectual property rights over corona medicines.
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