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Dutch authorities check for COVID-19 omicron variant after 61 arrivals from South Africa test positive

world-regions authorities are checking for the omicron infectious-disease after 61 passengers on two flightsa> from <a href="https: tested positive for infectious-disease on Friday. 

The passengers who tested positive have been isolated and further investigations are being carried out. 

NO CASES OF COVID-19 OMICRON VARIANT IDENTIFIED YET IN US, CDC SAYS

The planes arrived in the Netherlands from world-regions shortly after the Dutch government – like many other nations – imposed a travel ban from southern African nations. 

The 539 travelers who tested negative for coronavirus were allowed to return home or continue traveling to other countries. 

People who live in the Netherlands and are allowed to return home are required to self-isolate for at least five days.

People walk inside Schiphol Airport after Dutch health authorities said that 61 people who arrived in Amsterdam on flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 27, 2021.

People walk inside Schiphol Airport after Dutch health authorities said that 61 people who arrived in Amsterdam on flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 27, 2021.
(REUTERS/Eva Plevier)

All of this comes after the world-health-organization” target=”_blank”>World Health Organization (WHO)< in Belgium, Israel and Hong Kong. Germany also has a probable case. 

On Saturday, Britain confirmed two linked cases of the omicron variant.

COVID-19 OMICRON VARIANT: HERE’S WHAT WE KNOW

The U.S. joined a host of other nations Friday in imposing restrictions on South Africa and several other African countries, despite WHO guidance and pleas from the Africa Centers or Disease Control and Prevention, which said that such travel bans have “not yielded a meaningful outcome.”

People walk outside XL Schiphol test pavilion after Dutch health authorities said that 61 people who arrived in Amsterdam on flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 27, 2021.

People walk outside XL Schiphol test pavilion after Dutch health authorities said that 61 people who arrived in Amsterdam on flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 27, 2021.
(REUTERS/Eva Plevier)

The changes are set to take effect on Monday, with exceptions for U.S. citizens, permanent residents and a few other categories.

“It seems to spread rapidly,” joe-biden” target=”_blank”>President Biden< that no cases of the omicron variant have been identified in the U.S. to date and assured that the agency would “monitor its path.” 

Many questions have yet to be answered about the variant, including whether omicron can evade immune response, and U.S. and South African scientists were meeting Friday to discuss their findings.

Dr. Makary: Omicron variant alienated by 'conclusion without data' rationale Video

The omicron variant alarmed health professionals due to its swift spread among young people in South Africa, although there was no immediate indication whether the variant causes more severe disease.

A number of pharmaceutical firms, including AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax and Pfizer, said they have plans in place to adapt their infectious-disease in light of the emergence of omicron.

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Fewer than 6% of people in Africa have been fully immunized against COVID-19, and millions of health workers and vulnerable populations have yet to receive a single dose. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed more than 5 million lives around the world.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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