Western Europe

Passengers tested COVID-19 on flights from Africa to Netherlands

14:59, 27 November 2021
Passengers tested COVID-19 on flights from Africa to Netherlands Photo: Sergey Lantyukhov/NEWS.ru

85 passengers on two flights who arrived at Amsterdam from South Africa tested positive for a coronavirus, the Health Ministry of the Netherlands reported.

"The positive test results will be examined as soon as possible to determine whether this concerns the new worrisome variant, which has since been given the name Omicron variant," the Dutch Health Authority (GGD) said in a statement.

The Dutch Minister of Health Hugo de Jong said passengers who tested positive, along with fellow travelers, will be quarantined at an airport hotel.

The passengers who tested negative, but are remaining in the Netherlands, are expected to isolate at home.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has named a new variant of coronavirus, which was first discovered in November in South Africa, after the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet - "Omicron".

"This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning," the UN public health body said in a statement.

The imperial College virologist Tom Peacock said that this variant of the coronavirus contains 32 mutations which could increase its infectivity and resistance to vaccines.

The WHO reported that the current PCR tests can detect the new strain of coronavirus.