New coronavirus variant: Omicron cases in more and more countries

Status: 11/28/2021 2:43 p.m.

The number of Omikron cases continues to rise worldwide: The Netherlands reported 13 people who tested positive, Denmark and Australia two each – and the corona variant was also detected in the suspected case in Hesse.

In the Netherlands, infections with the new Omikron coronavirus variant have been found in 13 travelers from South Africa. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced. The people came to Amsterdam on Friday with the Dutch airline KLM. Overall, the health authority at Schiphol Airport tested more than 600 passengers from two KLM machines, 61 tests were positive. All those affected were isolated in a quarantine hotel.

De Jonge again appealed to all people who have traveled to the Netherlands from southern Africa since last Monday to be tested for Corona immediately. In the meantime, the rules for access to KLM aircraft in South Africa have been tightened. Even people who have been vaccinated twice are only allowed on board with a negative PCR test, and a quick test must also be negative shortly beforehand. Before, vaccinated people did not have to show a test.

Suspected case in Hessen confirmed

Meanwhile, the suspicion of an infection with the Omikron variant in Hesse has been confirmed. The state minister of social affairs, Kai Klose, announced this on Twitter. In the suspected case announced on Saturday, the mutation was detected during sequencing. The person concerned is said to be a returnee from South Africa. The person comes from the Rhine-Main area.

On Saturday, the authority announced that virologist Sandra Ciesek had identified several typical features of the Omikron virus variant, which the WHO has classified as worrying. According to the ministry, the person had already arrived in Frankfurt from South Africa on November 21. At that time, South Africa was not classified as a high-risk or virus variant area. She was reportedly fully vaccinated, then developed symptoms and had tests over the week.

Cases also in Denmark and Australia

There are also confirmed cases in other countries: According to the Danish health institute SSI, two suspected cases in the country have been found to have Omikron. The two infected people also entered South Africa by plane and are now in quarantine.

In Australia’s metropolis Sydney, two travelers were also found to be infected with the new Corona variant after their arrival. The passengers were among a group of 14 other people who had traveled from southern Africa, Australian officials said on Sunday. Both showed no symptoms and were vaccinated. The other twelve people were isolated.

Great Britain, Italy and the Czech Republic, as well as Germany, had already reported Omikron cases with the two cases in Bavaria on Saturday. Numerous countries have now issued travel restrictions to prevent the mutation from spreading.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the Corona variant as “worrying”. The EU health authority ECDC speaks of serious concerns that the variant could significantly reduce the effectiveness of the corona vaccines and increase the risk of reinfections. The exact effects of the new variant have not yet been determined.

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