Omicron Variant was Already in Europe Earlier Than Thought
The Omicron variant has been circulating in Europe for longer than previously thought. Ten days ago in the Netherlands, two people would have tested positive for the new corona variant. That was before doctors in South Africa sounded the alarm.
The Omicron variant was first identified in South Africa on November 9. A few weeks later, on November 24, South African experts sounded the alarm to warn the whole world about the new variant. Since then, cases have been searched everywhere with the highest alertness. Also, in our country, at least one person has already tested positive for the variant.
Many more cases have already surfaced in the Netherlands. Last Friday, a total of 624 travellers returned by plane from South Africa to Amsterdam. 61 of them have taken a positive corona test, and at least 14 were the Omicron variant. It was thought that these were the first Dutch omi crashes, but that is wrong. It now appears that the Omicron variant was already present in the Netherlands before the warning came from South Africa.
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the Dutch counterpart of Sciensano, reported on Tuesday that two people who tested positive on November 19 and 23 were wearing the Omicron variant. This has become apparent from further analysis of their test samples. One of those two people had no travel history, as the RIVM calls it; the other had recently been to the south of Africa. That says a spokesperson.
As a result of the discovery, labs also examine material from positive tests taken over the past three months. This could lead to even more Omicron infections. If that is the case, then the variant could already be much more widespread than thought.
RIVM also provided a little more information about the fourteen people who tested positive for the Omicron variant. They would all have been infected separately from each other before she got on the plane.