The Omicron variant was found on Friday in 13 passengers tested at Amsterdam airport, according to Dutch authorities

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Dutch health authorities said the Omicron variant had been identified in at least 13 people who were tested at Amsterdam Schiphol airport after landing in South Africa on Friday.

The National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM) of the Netherlands said in a statement released on Sunday that the variant had been detected by sequencing the 61 positive results of Covid-19 obtained on Friday by local health authorities in the airport.

He added that the sequencing “had not been completely completed “and that it was” possible that the new variant would be found in more test samples “.

A statement released Saturday by RIVM said Omicron had been “found” in several people tested at the airport on Friday morning.

A total of 624 passengers on two flights returning from South Africa were tested by GGD Kennemerland (the municipal health service responsible for Amsterdam Schiphol Airport) on arrival, GGD said on Friday.

Some context: The Netherlands banned flights to several South African countries on Friday. Flights can continue if they carry Dutch citizens and / or EU or Schengen passport passengers.

These citizens can enter the Netherlands with a negative PCR test result in the last 24 hours and must be quarantined for 10 days upon arrival, or for five days if they show a negative test result, according to a notice on the Dutch government website.

The two flights that landed on Friday morning at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport had left South Africa before the flight ban took effect at 12:00 Dutch time. Dutch authorities said that “passengers on flights that were already en route to the Netherlands before the flight ban came into force will do a PCR test after landing and enter quarantine.”

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