Dutch health authorities confirm that 61 passengers aboard two KLM flights from South Africa tested positive for Covid-19. The results are being examined for the new Omicron variant.
The positive cases are now being quarantined in a hotel near Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, where the 600 people on the planes from Johannesburg spent hours waiting on Friday, according to France24.
Germany became the second European country to find a suspected case of the highly infectious new variant, which has sparked fears of a major setback in the global effort to end the coronavirus pandemic, according to AFP.
“We now know that 61 of the results were positive and 531 negative,” the Dutch Health Authority (GGD) said in a statement.
“The positive test results will be examined as soon as possible to determine whether this concerns the new worrisome variant, which has since been given the name Omicron variant.”
All passengers who tested positive must stay in hotel quarantine for seven days if they show symptoms and for five days if they do not, the GGD said.
Passengers who tested negative, but are remaining in the Netherlands, are expected to isolate at home.
A German regional official said Saturday that health authorities have identified the first suspected case in the country, in a person who returned from South Africa.