At least 61 passengers on two flights from South Africa have tested positive for coronavirus tonight after landing in Amsterdam, where they underwent a PCR upon arrival in the Netherlands when the ban on flights from southern African countries came into force , although it is not clear if they carry the new omicrón variant.
A team from the municipal health service (GGD) went yesterday afternoon to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, where a flight from Johannesburg and another from Cape Town had landed, to subject its 600 passengers to a test, in application of a Dutch restriction of air traffic from southern Africa due to fears of the new strain.
All the passengers had been held in an area of the terminal, separated from the rest of the people who were at the airport, awaiting the result of the PCR, which became known throughout the afternoon and night.
The current balance is 61 infected people, although it is not yet known if they are infected with the omicron variant, and they are staying in a hotel in the Schiphol area under the surveillance of local authorities, to serve a quarantine of at least seven days if they present symptoms, and five days if they are asymptomatic.
The rest of the passengers who obtained a negative result in the test must also undergo a five-day home quarantine, until a new PCR is done, which, if negative, allows them to lift the quarantine.
The Dutch Government declared this Friday at noon the total suspension of all flights from southern African countries as a preventive measure after the detection of the new variant of the coronavirus in the region.
These countries also became “classified as very high risk areas” for coronavirus, which implies “a quarantine obligation” and the submission of two tests to travelers from these countries, one of them had to be less than 24 hours.
Health Minister Hugo de Jonge stressed yesterday that the new mutation had not yet been officially detected in the Netherlands, but “at the same time, we know from other variants how fast something like this can go, so we have to slow down the arrival of this variant as much as possible. “
Although throughout Friday several European countries were individually banning air traffic from southern Africa, in the afternoon, the 27 of the European Union (EU) agreed to suspend flights to seven African countries due to the new variant, European sources informed EFE.
The map of South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland.
The Government of Belgium reported yesterday that on November 22 it detected in the country a case of the new South African variant in an unvaccinated young adult woman, who developed symptoms eleven days after traveling to Egypt through Turkey.
South Africa confirmed on Thursday the detection of this new strain, identified as B.1.1.529, which has multiple mutations and which has raised “concern” among specialists, although its impact has yet to be studied.