Europe 1 with AFP 3:18 p.m., November 28, 2021, modified at 3:18 p.m., November 28, 2021

Thirteen passengers who left South Africa and diagnosed positive for Covid-19 on their arrival in Amsterdam on Friday are carriers of the Omicron variant.

61 passengers from Johannesburg and Cape Town tested positive upon landing in Amsterdam, while another 531 tested negative.

Thirteen passengers who left South Africa and diagnosed positive for Covid-19 on their arrival in Amsterdam on Friday are carriers of the Omicron variant, Dutch health authorities announced on Sunday.

"The Omicron variant has so far been identified in 13 of the positive tests. But the investigation is not yet complete. The new variant could be found in other samples," said the National Institute of Public Health. (RIVM) in a press release.

61 passengers from Johannesburg and Cape Town tested positive upon landing in Amsterdam, while another 531 tested negative.

A variant deemed of concern by the WHO

The positive cases have been quarantined in a hotel near Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

"We urge people coming from this area to get tested as quickly as possible," Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said during a press briefing.

"It is not unthinkable that there are more cases in the Netherlands," he continued.

"We are concerned, but we do not yet know how much we must be," the minister commented again.

"The WHO has said it is a worrying variant, but only the next few weeks will show it."

>> READ ALSO -

 Variant Omicron: the first cases are increasing in Europe

The new variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, detected for the first time in South Africa, represents a "high to very high" risk for Europe, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned on Friday.

More and more countries are closing their doors to travelers from southern Africa - South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini (Swaziland) and Zimbabwe - to avoid a proliferation of Omicron, already found in several countries, from Israel to Australia via Hong Kong.

Keywords: