The Netherlands has detected 13 cases of the concerning, new Omicron variant among airline passengers flying in from South Africa, health officials said Sunday.
Dutch health authorities announced that the cases of the variant were discovered among passengers that arrived in Amsterdam from Johannesburg on Friday.
“It is not unlikely more cases will appear in the Netherlands,” Health Minister Hugo de Jonge told reporters in Rotterdam on Sunday. “This could possibly be the tip of the iceberg.”
Authorities had tested more than 600 passengers on two flights and discovered 61 cases of coronavirus.
The infected passengers were required to quarantine at a hotel near Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.
First discovered in South African, the variant has now been also detected in Britain, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Botswana, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong.
“It is not unlikely more cases will appear in the Netherlands,” Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.Phil Nijhuis/ANP/AFP via Getty Images
Health officials in Australia said two passengers who flew into Sydney from southern Africa on Saturday evening had tested positive for the variant.
Denmark health officials also announced Sunday it has recorded two cases of the variant in travelers from South Africa.
The World Health Organization warned on Friday that Omicron was a “variant of concern,” sparking fears around the world that it could be resistant to vaccines.
600 passengers on two flights were tested for COVID-19 and 61 positive cases were discovered.Sem Van Der Wal/ANP/AFP via Getty Images
Omicron is believed to be more infectious than previous variants, but experts do not know yet if it will cause more severe cases of COVID-19 compared to other strains.
With Post wires