Covid19: 2 People Tested Positive for Omicron Variant in Netherlands Before South African Flights Arrived

Covid19: 2 People Tested Positive for Omicron Variant in Netherlands Before South African Flights Arrived

  • New information from Dutch officials has revealed that the Omicron Covid19 variant was already in the country before South Africa's announcement
  • The European country says the variant was found in two samples that were taken on 19 and 20 November
  • There are currently 14 people who travelled from South Africa to the Netherlands that tested positive for the new coronavirus strain

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JOHANNESBURG - Dutch officials have confirmed that the Covid19 variant of concern, Omicron was found in two test samples before the arrival of flights from South Africa.

The test samples were both dated November 19 and 23, according to Dutch officials. On November 25, South Africa was the first to report on the novel coronavirus strain.

Covid19: 2 People Tested Positive for Omicron Variant in Netherlands Before South African Flights Arrived
The Netherlands says they found two samples of Covid19 that tested positive for the Omicron variant before the arrival of South African flights. Image: Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images
Source: Getty Images

Dutch officials say it is not yet clear whether the two people that tested positive for the Omicron variant were in South Africa before coming to the Netherlands.

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The National Institute for Public Health stated that 14 people who arrived from Johannesburg and Cape Town tested positive for Covid19 and had the new variant, according to a report by News24. They were part of a group of people that arrived in the Netherlands on 26 November.

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Netherlands plans to test 5000 people

With the rising concerns of the new strain, Dutch officials say they will test approximately 5000 other people that came from South African countries such as Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Eswatini, according to BusinessLIVE.

The Netherlands is averaging over 20 000 new infections on a daily and the country has implemented stricter lockdown measures to ease the pressure on hospitals and bring down the infection rate.

South Africans react

Social media users believe that the treatment of Mzansi after the announcement of the new variant was unjust.

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Briefly News put together some of their comments below:

@SivieM81 said:

"And yet this media has the gall to still call it a South African Variant. An apology is owed!!!"

@MthabineJustice said:

"Can the countries where these variants originated pay us or compensate for the inconvenience?"

@solly_msosti said:

"But Netherlands kept quiet then our Government took a loudspeaker and announced."

@ErnaLandman said:

"I have a question. If the variant did not originate in SA, did it originate elsewhere or is it programmed that the new variant will surface at a certain time? Just wondering why there are so few variants (after 2 years) and now the EXACT same variant is found all over the world."

@Hosia_Mahlatsi said:

"Well, Omicron has been in Europe since January 2021. We know the European Masters hid it then waited for their favourite School Prefect (South Africa) in the African School to disclose it."

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South Africans do not want another Covid 19 lockdown, government risks public backlash

@kennedy_olebile said:

"If that is the case, then the origin of the variant could be anywhere else other than Southern Africa. So, the ban of Southern African countries from nations such as the UK is a bit misplaced or it was an ill-informed decision."

@Mphoza26633019 said:

"The direction in which the narrator is taking in order to try and convince the reader is very simple and straightforward. doesn't even need a scientist to analyze the narrative of the micron,the directions are clear and yes South Africa is being micromanaged."

Unvaccinated people more likely to be hospitalised due to Omicron

Briefly News previously reported that Dr Waasila Jassat from the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) briefed the Department of Health yesterday (29 November). During this briefing, she said that most patients hospitalised due to the Omicron variant are unvaccinated.

The variant has so far presented itself as highly transmissible, but vaccinated people have reported milder symptoms than those who are not

. Dr Michelle Groome, the NICD's public health surveillance head, reports that new cases amount to just below 2 000 daily with 80% of cases being reported in Gauteng, particularly in younger people, Sunday Times writes.

Source: Briefly News

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