Dutch health authorities announced that the 13 cases of the variant were found among passengers who were on flights from South Africa that arrived in Amsterdam on Friday.
Authorities had tested all of the more than 600 passengers on those two flights and had found 61 coronavirus cases, going on to test those for the new variant. “It is not unlikely more cases will appear in the Netherlands,” health minister Hugo de Jonge told a news conference in Rotterdam. “This could possibly be the tip of the iceberg.
The discovery of Omicron, dubbed a variant of concern” last week by the World Health Organization, has sparked worries around the world that it could resist vaccinations and prolong the nearly two-year Covid-19 pandemic. First discovered in South Africa, the variant has since been detected in Britain, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Botswana, Israel and Hong Kong.
Health officials in Australia's most populous state, New South Wales, said two passengers who arrived in Sydney from southern Africa on Saturday evening had tested positive for the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Both people were asymptomatic, fully vaccinated, and in quarantine, NSW Health said. Another 12 passengers from southern Africa were also in 14 days of hotel quarantine, while around 260 other passengers and aircrew have been directed to isolate.
Austria was investigating a suspected case on Sundayandin France health minister Olivier Veran said the variant was probably already circulating there.
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