61 South Africans tested positive for COVID-19

61 South Africans tested positive for COVID-19

The Hague A total of 61 people who arrived in the Netherlands on two flights from South Africa on Friday tested positive for the coronavirus and were in isolation on Saturday as the world anxiously scrambled to contain a new type of rapidly transmissible coronavirus.

Travelers arriving at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport are now being further tested to determine if any have the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 that was first detected in South Africa.

The rapid spread of the variant among young South Africans has alarmed health professionals. In just two weeks, omicron has transformed the country’s low transition period into a period of rapid growth.

Two planes arrived in the Netherlands from Johannesburg and Cape Town shortly after the Dutch government, along with other countries around the world, on Friday imposed a ban on flights from South African nations following the discovery of a new type of omicron.

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The local Kinnermerland health authority, which is responsible for the testing and isolation process, said in an update Saturday that people who test positive should be quarantined for seven days if they show symptoms and five days if they are symptom-free.

The 539 passengers who tested negative were allowed to return home or continue their flights to other countries. Under government regulations, those who live in the Netherlands and are allowed to return home must self-isolate for at least five days.

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