Dutch Health Official Confirms 13 Omicron Variant Cases in the Country

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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Dutch Health Official Confirms 13 Omicron Variant Cases in the Country” – below is their description.

The 13 omicron Covid-19 cases identified in the Netherlands on Sunday — along with additional ones confirmed in Germany and the U.K. — suggest the new variant already has a strong foothold in Europe.

Vaccine makers are racing to evaluate the new strain to see if new formulations will be required. There are indications the symptoms associated with omicron are mild, top South African health officials said.

Dutch authorities said they found the cases among 61 people who tested positive for Covid on two flights that arrived from southern Africa on Friday.

About 10% of the travelers on the flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg tested positive for Covid-19. Analysis of the remaining samples is continuing, said Dutch Health Minister Hugo de Jonge. The other travelers have dispersed around Europe and the world.

“It is not unlikely more cases will appear in the Netherlands,” de Jonge told a news conference in Rotterdam. “This could possibly be the tip of the iceberg.”

The Dutch cases mark the most widespread incidence of the new strain in Europe found so far, but the variant has been confirmed or is suspected in at least seven other countries.

Germany on Sunday confirmed cases among two people who arrived last week from southern Africa into Munich and one into Frankfurt. More suspected cases are being investigated

Two cases confirmed by the U.K. on Saturday — plus another on Sunday — along with two in Denmark, all involved travelers from southern Africa. Austria, Belgium and the Czech Republic have suspected or confirmed cases. Australia, Hong Kong and Israel have identified cases, too.

In Campania, Italy, a double-vaccinated traveler who’d recently returned from Mozambique was confirmed as having the new variant, according to Italy’s National Health Institute. The man’s family was also positive and is isolating, with tests under way to determine the strain, authorities said.

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