© Reuters. Cops stand guard following Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s announcement of recent measures to battle a document surge in coronavirus illness (COVID-19) infections, in The Hague, Netherlands, November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Eva Plevier
By Toby Sterling and Bart H. Meijer
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -Dutch well being authorities stated on Saturday that they had detected 61 COVID-19 circumstances amongst individuals who flew from South Africa on Friday and had been now doing additional assessments to see whether or not any are contaminated with the brand new Omicron variant.
The circumstances had been found amongst round 600 passengers who arrived at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on two flights on Friday earlier than the Dutch authorities halted air site visitors from southern Africa attributable to considerations over the variant.
Dutch well being authorities stated on Saturday they might additionally search to contact travellers who had arrived from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe since Monday and urge them to take a check as quickly as doable.
The passengers from Friday’s flights had been stored separated from different travellers and people who examined constructive are being stored in isolation at a resort close to the airport.
A spokesperson for the well being ministry stated it might not be identified till later Saturday whether or not any of passengers are contaminated with the brand new variant.
A spokesperson for KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France, stated the airline was making an attempt to find out what guidelines had been in place as of Friday morning to stop individuals with COVID-19 infections from boarding the flights, which departed from Cape City and Johannesburg.
Guidelines on the corporate’s web site stated passengers needed to current a destructive COVID-19 “fast antigen” check consequence taken 24 hours earlier than departure however weren’t required to indicate proof of vaccination.
Paula Zimmerman, a Dutch photographer who returned from a household go to in South Africa on Friday morning, stated the scenario for the passengers on the planes was chaotic, as they had been stored ready on the tarmac and within the terminal for hours.
Zimmerman was instructed she had examined destructive at 4 a.m., virtually 18 hours after touchdown in Amsterdam, however stated she then came upon she was standing proper subsequent to a person who knew he had examined constructive for an an infection.
“It was actually bizarre. There was no coordination. There have been too few individuals and there actually wasn’t anyone who took management.”
Having spent hours on a flight that seemingly had many contaminated passengers made Zimmerman anxious for the times to return, she stated.
“I’ve been instructed that they anticipate that much more individuals will check constructive after 5 days. It is a bit scary the concept that you’ve been in a aircraft with lots of people who examined constructive.”
The Dutch flight ban doesn’t imply that every one flights from southern Africa to the Netherlands are halted, as Dutch residents are allowed to return dwelling, whereas EU residents are allowed entry in transit to their dwelling international locations.
Medical employees, airline crews and other people with urgent wants are additionally nonetheless allowed to journey. KLM will proceed flights to the area, however travellers want to remain in quarantine for a minimum of 5 days upon arrival within the Netherlands.
The brand new variant https://www.reuters.com/enterprise/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/what-we-know-about-covid-19-variant-detected-south-africa-2021-11-26 has been detected simply as many European international locations are grappling with a surge in coronavirus circumstances.
The Dutch authorities on Friday introduced https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/netherlands-impose-new-covid-measures-avoid-healthcare-breakdown-2021-11-26 the nighttime closure of bars, eating places and most shops because it tries to curb a record-breaking wave of COVID-19 circumstances that’s swamping its healthcare system.
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