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Netherlands: Omicron cases have occurred before

In the Netherlands, the new omicron variant of the coronavirus appeared much earlier than previously thought. As the Dutch Institute for Public Health (RIVM) announced today, the variant was detected in two test samples dated November 19 and 23.

South Africa officially announced the discovery of the new variant with the scientific name B.1.1.529 on November 24th.

The Dutch authorities had previously assumed that 14 travelers from South Africa were the first to be infected with the Omikron variant. They arrived at Schiphol Airport on Friday in two planes from South Africa.

It is still unclear whether the infected people tested on November 19 and 23 were also in southern Africa, said the RIVM. Those affected had been informed and the authorities followed up their contacts.

WHO: “Concerning”

The institute also announced an investigation to determine how far the Omikron variant has already spread in the Netherlands. Further samples from previous CoV tests are to be examined again for this purpose.

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies the new coronavirus variant as “worrying” and warns of a “very high” global risk. Omicron cases have been identified in many countries since the discovery in South Africa.

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