- Sputnik International, 1920
Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

Up to 15 Percent of New COVID-19 Cases in Netherlands Attributed to Omicron Strain

© REUTERS / Eva PlevierPeople take part in a protest following Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's announcement of new measures to fight a record surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, in The Hague, Netherlands, on 26 November 2021.
People take part in a protest following Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's announcement of new measures to fight a record surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, in The Hague, Netherlands, on 26 November 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.12.2021
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PARIS (Sputnik) - Between 10-15 percent of new positive COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands are attributed to the Omicron variant, the chairman of the country's outbreak management team, Jaap van Dissel, said.
The scientist stressed that while the new coronavirus strain accounts for 10 percent to 15 percent of new positive cases, the number continues to double every 2.5 days.
Dissel added that pressure on the country's healthcare system will intensify in the coming weeks, despite a lockdown that has been in effect since 19 December.

"Even amid a lockdown, we can expect 100 to 150 hospitalisations a day, assuming that the Omicron strain will provoke the same number of hospitalisations as the Delta variant", the scientist said during a parliamentary briefing as quoted by the Dutch Broadcasting Foundation.

Dissel noted that there is no conclusive evidence that the new coronavirus strain is less likely to cause infection that is as severe as that caused by previous strains.
Protesters watch a motorcycle burning in Rotterdam, Netherlands November 20, 2021, in this screen grab obtained from a social media video. Video recorded November 20, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 22.11.2021
Netherlands' Rutte Slams Recent COVID-19 Protests as Violence by 'Idiots'
On Sunday, the Netherlands announced that a lockdown will be introduced until 14 January to curb the spread of the Omicron variant. All bars, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, museums, theatres, gyms, as well as shops that do not sell essential goods have shut down. The country has been experiencing an increase in positive COVID-19 cases, despite over 65 percent of the population being fully vaccinated.
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