Amsterdam: Health authorities of Netherlands said that dozens of passengers who landed in Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa on Friday are likely infected with COVID-19, and they are conducting further screenings to check if they are infected with the recently discovered Omicron coronavirus variant, reports NDTV.
Around 600 travellers landed at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport on the two KLM flights on Friday and then had to deal with hours of delays and testing owing to the concerns arising over the new virus variant. On the basis of initial testing, the Dutch health authorities estimated that there might be around 85 positive cases among the passengers.
"Travelers with a positive test result will be placed in isolation at a hotel at or near Schiphol," health authorities said in a statement.
"Of the positive test results, we are researching as quickly as possible whether they are the new variant of concern, now named 'Omicron'."
Early on Friday, the government of Netherlands banned all air travel from southern Africa with Health Minister Hugo de Jonge informing that travellers already en route to Netherlands would have to undergo testing and quarantine upon arrival.
A health authorities spokesperson in Kennemerland, the Dutch region that oversees Schiphol, informed that the positive cases were being screened by a Dutch academic medical hospital to check if they are the new strain.
ALSO READUS to restrict travel from eight African countries amid rise in new COVID-19 variant: Here is the...
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)