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Omicron variant confirmed in another 18 people in the Netherlands

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RIVM is monitoring the spread of the Omicron variant in various ways.

For that purpose, the test samples taken from people who tested positive for COVID-19 are subjected to further analysis.

As of Tuesday 7 December at 11:00, the Omicron variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 had been confirmed in a total of 18 people in the Netherlands.

This does not include the 18 passengers from the flights that arrived from South Africa on 26 November, who were also confirmed to have the Omicron variant. 

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As of 26 November 2021, the Netherlands has banned flights
from countries in southern Africa.

People who are allowed to travel must have a negative PCR test result before departing for the Netherlands. In addition, they must go into mandatory home quarantine upon arrival in the Netherlands.

When these people arrive at Schiphol Airport, they are offered a PCR test at that location. Some people do not get tested immediately after arrival, but do get tested by the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) later.  

All samples from these tests are sent to one of the labs in the Netherlands for genome sequencing.

The Omicron variant has been found in 14 of these people so far. 

Contact with people who have the Omicron variant –

If someone is diagnosed with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Municipal Public Health Services (GGDs) will initiate source and contact tracing.

This will take place regardless of the person’s travel history. Close contacts of these people also need to get tested. Their samples will also be sent to a laboratory in the Netherlands for genome sequencing.  

No confirmed cases involving the Omicron variant have been reported to RIVM via this route so far.  

Omicron variant expected to spread in the Netherlands –

RIVM expects that the Omicron variant will be detected in more samples in the next few weeks.

Targeted research looking for the Omicron variant also increases the likelihood that this variant will be found more often.

Based on reports from other countries, including South Africa and the United Kingdom, it is possible that the Omicron variant will supplant the Delta variant, becoming the dominant variant in the Netherlands. 

Source linkhttps://www.rivm.nl/en/news/omicron-variant-confirmed-in-another-18-people-in-netherlands

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    Ankita Deshkar

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