Dutch health government say they’ve identified early cases of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus — including 1 from a sample taken the week before Southward Africa raised the alert about the mutated variant. Other cases were found through tests at Schiphol aerodrome in Amsterdam.

Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

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Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

Dutch health regime say they’ve identified early cases of the new omicron variant of the coronavirus — including one from a sample taken the week before South Africa raised the alarm nearly the mutated variant. Other cases were found through tests at Schiphol airdrome in Amsterdam.

Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

The omicron coronavirus variant was already in the Netherlands a week before South Africa reported the new variant to the World Wellness System, according to a Dutch health bureau.

The variant was recently identified in retests of samples that were taken on Nov. 19 and 23, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, or RIVM, announced on Tuesday.

Revelations about the variant’s existence in Europe earlier it was reported in Africa add together a new twist to questions nearly where and how the variant originated — and whether travel bans on South Africa and its neighbors are an appropriate response to the variant.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa says his state is being punished for detecting the variant and informing global health government well-nigh it.

“You do non endeavor and contain a virus through imposing bans unscientifically and indiscriminately,” Ramaphosa said on Tuesday, calculation that measures such as testing all travelers are the best tools for combating the pandemic.

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South African officials raised the alarm most the heavily mutated variant, B.1.one.529, on Nov. 24. Two days later, the WHO classified it every bit a variant of concern and dubbed information technology omicron.

The global wellness agency says the variant poses a “very high” risk because its mutations could help it spread more than hands — and perhaps infect people who might otherwise be considered allowed to previous variants.

Abnormalities prompted retest of old samples; links to southern Africa are unclear

The netherlands had previously reported more a dozen omicron COVID-19 cases, detected in tests at an Amsterdam drome on Nov. 26, when 624 people arrived in the country from Southward Africa.

Dutch authorities scrutinized the older samples after initial PCR tests found abnormalities in the coronavirus’ fasten protein — the omicron variant has 26 to 32 mutations in that area alone, according to the WHO.

The samples were taken at a municipal public health service test site, the RIVM said, adding, “It is non notwithstanding clear whether these people had too visited southern Africa.”

Rapid spread of omicron has triggered travel restrictions

As of late Monday, 33 omicron cases had been confirmed in Europe, in viii countries: holland, Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Kingdom of denmark, Deutschland, Italy and Portugal, co-ordinate to the
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Information technology’s also been found in other places, from Hong Kong to State of israel.

The omicron variant triggered a rush of new travel restrictions targeting South Africa and other southern African nations. About immediately, new bans were announced or proposed by the EU, the U.South. and Canada, along with Japan, Russian federation and the U.Thousand.

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Ramaphosa is insisting such bans be lifted, stating, “This is unfair, this is discriminatory against us.”

Health experts have long questioned the efficacy of such bans — and in the case of the coronavirus, many believe the omicron variant has already spread too rapidly to exist contained in a single part of the globe.

Where omicron originally emerged is notwithstanding unknown

Days later on South Africa informed the WHO about the new variant, Botswana said its genomic surveillance of COVID-19 had found 4 omicron cases, in strange diplomats who entered the state on Nov. 7.

“It’s not clear where the variant really emerged,” as the STAT health news site reports. “It could be that S Africa and Botswana saw it early considering they have potent genetic sequencing networks.”

The iv people tested positive on November. 11, as they prepared to leave Botswana; their samples were retested after the alarm was raised about the variant.

Botswana has not identified the diplomats or said where else they traveled. The country recently said it found an additional 15 cases, with the majority of them also linked to international travel.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2021/11/30/1060025081/omicron-variant-netherlands-europe-south-africa