Hundreds of passengers who arrived in Amsterdam by two flights from S. Africa on Friday were found to be Covid positive , according to Dutch health officials, who are performing additional tests to check if anyone is afflicted with the recently found Omicron coronavirus type.
On Friday, around 600 passengers landed at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on two KLM flights, only to be met by hours of delays and testing due to fears of a new virus type. The Dutch health ministry suspected that there could be roughly 85 positive cases among the passengers based on preliminary tests.
‘Travelers who test positive will be placed in isolation at a hotel nearby or even at Schiphol,’ health officials said in a statement.
‘We are investigating the positive test findings as rapidly as possible to see if they are the new variation of concern, now known as Omicron.’
Early on Friday, the Dutch authorities halted all plane travel from southern Africa. Passengers who are already on their way to the Netherlands will be subjected to testing and quarantine upon arrival, Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said.
Passengers on the two KLM planes from Cape Town and Johannesburg said they had to wait for hours on the tarmac.
The positive cases are being examined by a Dutch academic medical hospital to ascertain whether they are the new strain, health officials in Kennemerland revealed.
Dutch government declared midnight curfew for clubs, restaurants and most retailers on Friday as it battles a record-breaking wave of COVID-19 cases that is wreaking havoc on the country’s healthcare system.