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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Australia, officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area.
Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine federated states, one of which is Vienna, Austria’s capital and its largest city.
It is bordered by Germany to the northwest; the Czech Republic to the north; Slovakia to the northeast; Hungary to the east; Slovenia and Italy to the south; and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west.
Austria occupies an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi) and has a population of nearly 9 million people. While German is the country’s official language, many Austrians communicate informally in a variety of Bavarian dialects.
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest.
It covers an area of 30,689 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.5 million, making it the 22nd most densely populated country in the world and the 6th most densely populated country in Europe, with a density of 376 per square kilometre (970/sq mi). The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Liège, Bruges, Namur, and Leuven.
Legally, Belgium is a sovereign state and a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organization is complex and is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds. It is divided into three highly autonomous regions: the Flemish Region in the north, Wallonia in the south, and the Brussels-Capital Region.
The Czech Republic, also called by its short-form name, Czechia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is a unitary parliamentary republic.
Czechoslovakia was restored in 1945 until 1 January 1993 when it dissolved with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech Republic is a member of NATO, EU, OECD, OSCE and CoE.
The Czech Republic is a developed country with an advanced, high income social market economy.
Denmark, officially the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. The capital is Copenhagen. Denmark proper, consists of a peninsula, Jutland, and an archipelago of 443 islands.
The Kingdom of Denmark comprises Denmark proper and the two autonomous territories in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948; in Greenland home rule was established in 1979 and further autonomy in 2009.
Denmark has highly developed mixed economy. Denmark became a member of the European Economic Community (now the EU) in 1973, but negotiated certain opt-outs; it retains its own currency, the krone. It is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, and the United Nations; it is also part of the Schengen Area. Denmark has close linguistic ties to its Scandinavian neighbours.
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe. It lies between the Baltic and North seas to the north, and the Alps to the south.
Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor. With over 83 million inhabitants of its 16 constituent states, it is the second-most populous country in Europe after Russia, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Its capital and largest city is Berlin, and its financial centre is Frankfurt; the largest urban area is the Ruhr.
Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.
Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.
Israel, a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, is regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land. Its most sacred sites are in Jerusalem. Within its Old City, the Temple Mount complex includes the Dome of the Rock shrine, the historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Israel’s financial hub, Tel Aviv, is known for its Bauhaus architecture and beaches.
Italy is a republic in central Europe which forms a peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea as well as bordering France, Switzerland, Austria and Slovenia. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily form part of the main territory of Italy. Italy is part of the Eurozone, having entered the common currency on 1st January 1999.
The capital, Rome, is home to the Vatican as well as landmark art and ancient ruins. Other major cities include Florence, with Renaissance masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s “David” and Brunelleschi’s Duomo; Venice, the city of canals; and Milan, Italy’s fashion capital.
Mozambique is a southern African nation whose long Indian Ocean coastline is dotted with popular beaches like Tofo, as well as offshore marine parks. In the Quirimbas Archipelago, a 250km stretch of coral islands, mangrove-covered Ibo Island has colonial-era ruins surviving from a period of Portuguese rule. The Bazaruto Archipelago farther south has reefs which protect rare marine life including dugongs.
The Netherlands, informally Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Caribbean, forming the largest constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. In the Caribbean, it consists of three special municipalities: the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The country’s official language is Dutch, with West Frisian as a secondary official language in the province of Friesland, and English and Papiamentu as secondary official languages in the Caribbean Netherlands. Dutch Low Saxon and Limburgish are recognised regional languages (spoken in the east and southeast respectively), while Sinte Romani and Yiddish are recognised non-territorial languages.