KLM flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg landed at Schiphol Airport in quick succession on Friday, with about 600 people on board. The passengers of the two planes were separated. The local municipal health service (GGD) has received instructions from the Dutch Ministry of Health to test them for coronavirus.
The injured are housed in a secluded, guarded hotel. “They stay there for at least seven days if they have complaints and five days if they have no complaints,” a GGD spokesperson said. Anyone who gets a negative test result should be isolated at home for five days to be tested again five days later.
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It is not yet clear whether the infected passengers have contracted the omikron variant of the coronavirus. This should later be demonstrated by follow-up research conducted by the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.
The novel coronavirus variant was first identified in South Africa and is causing concern in Europe and elsewhere around the world. Omikron may be more contagious than the other variants, and there is also uncertainty about the effectiveness of current vaccines.
Outside of South Africa, the variant has already been identified in Israel and Hong Kong. Belgium has already reported the first known case in Europe.
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