61 passengers from SA in isolation in Amsterdam, being tested for variant

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Paula Luckhoff

52 days ago
61 passengers from SA in isolation in Amsterdam, being tested for variant © nui7711/123rf.com

- 61 people who arrived at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport from South Africa have tested positive for Covid-19

- The passengers have been placed in isolation at a nearby hotel while tests are conducted to see if they have the Omicron variant

- Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced three weeks of stricter Covid regulations earlier this month

61 people who arrived in Amsterdam on two flights from South Africa have tested positive for Covid-19.

Dutch officials say the passengers have been placed in isolation at a hotel near Schiphol Airport while tests are conducted to see if they have the Omicron variant.

Sara-Jayne King gets an update from UK correspondent Gavin Grey.

They arrived by the Dutch national carrier KLM to Johannesburg. The Dutch government has put them into quarantine and they're just waiting to find out how many of them have this Omicron variant.

Gavin Grey, UK correspondent

Some are complaining, however, that they were kept on the plane for several hours without food and drink before eventually being allowed to leave... Some passengers showing a photo of themselves clumped together in a very small room with little ventilation, saying that was going to spread anything that they had...

Gavin Grey, UK correspondent

Those 61... is I think a sudden dawning of realisation in Europe that it's already here, and the Netherlands is already one of several European nations that are really struggling to contain record numbers of infections with a partial lockdown probably extended today with all hospitality and cultural venues now forced to close between 5pm in the evening and 5am

Gavin Grey, UK correspondent

Grey says while scientists are still trying to determine whether the Omicron variant is more deadly than previous ones, many governments are being ultra-cautious.

RELATED: South Africa back on UK's travel red list after new variant detected

What really raised people's concerns here was that the British government acted so quickly in shutting the doors, whereas in the past it's taken days and days....

Gavin Grey, UK correspondent

Scroll to the top of the article for the audio to listen to the interview

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 61 passengers from SA in isolation in Amsterdam, being tested for variant

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