13 cases of omicron variant in Dutch traveler tests

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – The Dutch public health authority confirmed on Sunday that 13 people who arrived in the Netherlands on flights from South Africa on Friday have so far tested positive for the news variant of the omicron coronavirus.

The 61 people who tested positive for the virus on Friday after arriving on the last two flights to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol before a flight ban was put in place were immediately placed in isolation while sequencing was done to establish if they had the new variant.

The public health institute said in a statement that testing was continuing on the samples.

Most of the 61 people who tested positive have been isolated in a hotel near the airport, while a small number have been allowed to remain in quarantine at home under strict conditions.

Health authorities have called on all travelers returning from southern Africa in the past week to be tested and have set up a testing center at Schiphol airport for Dutch citizens returning from the region. Testing is voluntary, and travelers can wait for results in isolation at home.

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