COVID- Hundreds of people test positive on flights between South Africa and the Netherlands

Image credit: thewest.com.au

According to Dutch officials, 61 individuals who arrived in Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19.

They’ve been sequestered in a hotel near Schiphol Airport. They were among 600 people who were detained for many hours after arriving at the airport to be tested for the virus.

Further testing is being carried out by Dutch authorities to establish if there are any occurrences of Omicron, which was recognised as a variety of concerns by the WHO on Friday.

On November 24, the variation was initially reported to the World Health Organization in South Africa. Many countries around the world have imposed travel restrictions on the southern African region in the last few hours.

In the meantime, the Netherlands is one of several European countries grappling with unprecedented levels of illness.

On Sunday, a partial lockdown will be extended, with all hospitality and cultural venues forced to close between 17:00 and 05:00 until at least December 19th.

Because of the new variety, the Dutch government had already restricted travel from the region and had arranged for travellers to be tested and isolated. Some passengers expressed their displeasure at being held on the plane without food or drink. According to New York Times correspondent Stephanie Nolen, who was on the flight, the passengers were not even given water while they remained on the plane.

Some passengers uploaded images of themselves huddled together in a room with inadequate ventilation when they were finally permitted to leave.

The Dutch health authorities announced on Saturday that 61 passengers on the planes had tested positive. Anyone who tested positive would have to stay in a hotel for seven days if they had symptoms and five days if they didn’t, according to the statement.

Those who tested negative were asked to stay at home for five days and undergo additional testing, while those who were in transit were allowed to continue their journeys. Some passengers, however, have not received written documentation of a negative test and are unable to board onward flights, according to reports.

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