PARIS (Sputnik) - Thirteen people who arrived in the Netherlands from South Africa tested positive for the Omicron coronavirus variant, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said on Sunday.
On Friday, two planes from South Africa landed in Schiphol Airport, and passengers were not allowed to leave the airport before they get their PCR-test results.
"On 26 November 2021, 624 passengers returning from South Africa were tested for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 by the GGD Kennemerland. The passengers were tested at Schiphol Airport; 61 of them tested positive for COVID-19. These test samples were sent to RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment for further analysis to determine which variant of the coronavirus was involved. Initial results from genome sequencing showed the omicron variant (B.1.1.529) in 13 of the samples from the positive tests," the institute said in a statement.
The new coronavirus strain, however, can be found in more samples, the agency went on, as the testing is not completed yet.
The World Health Organization (WHO) identified on Friday the new strain, first detected in South Africa, as one of concern, as it is reported to be more transmissible and dangerous. The WHO has dubbed it Omicron, the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.