Two flights arriving from Cape Town and carrying around 600 people have reportedly seen 61 people test positive for COVID-19.
According to authorities, further testing will be conducted to determine whether any infections are the recently discovered Omicron variant, reports Reuters. However, this has been declared “extremely likely.”
After the announcement of the new variant, passengers arriving at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on two KLM flights on Friday were forced to endure hours of delays and testing due to concerns.
The Dutch health ministry stated on Saturday that 61 tests had come back positive.
“Travelers with a positive test result will be placed in isolation at a hotel at or near Schiphol,” stated health authorities via a statement.
“Of the positive test results, we are researching as quickly as possible whether they are the new variant of concern, now named ‘Omicron’.”
After the revelation of the new variant, the Dutch government quickly sprung into action, banning air travel to and from Southern Africa. However, passengers already en route to the Netherlands would have to undergo testing and quarantine upon arrival.
Despite the hasty implementation of various travel bans imposed on Southern Africa, officials in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Italy and the UK all have confirmed cases of the new Omicron variant, reports City A.M