At least 13 cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have been found among passengers from South Africa who flew into Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment said Sunday.
Of 624 passengers from South Africa who tested on November 26, 61 tested positive for COVID-19. Their tests were sent to the institute, which has so far found 13 cases of the new variant.
Sequencing hasn’t been completed, so more Omicron cases may be found, the institute said.
The new variant has sparked global concerns due to fears it may spread faster and be resistant to vaccines. Following its discovery in South Africa, Omicron was first detected in Europe in Belgium on Friday. Other European countries, including Germany, Italy and the U.K., have confirmed cases. Australia also reported cases Sunday.
The European Union on Friday moved to ban travel from seven Southern African countries. Other nations, including the U.S. and U.K., are adopting similar moves. Israel late Saturday went further, imposing a two-week travel ban for all non-residents.