A new variant of the coronavirus Omicron has been identified in the bodies of 13 passengers on two flights from South Africa to Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.
According to the BBC, out of 71 passengers who tested positive for coronavirus, 13 were identified as omikron type.
Of the 700 passengers on two flights from South Africa to the Netherlands last Friday, 61 were diagnosed with the coronavirus.
A statement from the country’s health care authorities on Saturday said the passengers, who tested positive for coronavirus, had been instructed to stay in quarantine at a hotel near the airport.
On Sunday, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health reported that 13 new omicron types had been identified in the bodies of the passengers. However, he said the virus is still being tested – which means more samples of the Covid test could identify the omicon type.
Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jong has urged people returning to South Africa to get tested for covid as soon as possible. “It is not uncommon for many more to be identified in the Netherlands,” he told reporters.
Omicron type of coronavirus was first identified in South Africa.
Since then it has spread to several countries around the world. New species have recently been identified in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy and Australia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday listed Omicron, a new variant of the coronavirus identified in South Africa, as “alarming”. As a precautionary measure, many countries in Europe, America and Asia have already imposed travel bans on several African countries.
The Netherlands has already banned all flights from South Africa. The country’s health minister says passengers who are still on their way from South Africa will be tested for coronavirus once they arrive in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is one of the countries in Europe struggling to contain the record-breaking coronavirus infection. The country’s hospitals lack intensive care beds. The operation is being canceled and hundreds of people are dying every week, according to a BBC correspondent.
The partial lockdown that continued in the country on Sunday morning has been extended. The lockdown will continue for at least the next three weeks.
Under the new strict rules, bars, restaurants and shops in the country will have to close earlier than scheduled and there will be limited guest gatherings at home. In some cases people are being asked to work from home.