The Omicron variant continues to spread worldwide. Countries are now confirming cases of the variant, some countries had the variant in their midst even before South Africa alerted the world to the new variant.
The Netherlands government has confirmed the Covid-19 Omicron variant was detected in the Netherlands before two flights arrived from South Africa carrying the virus.
Dutch health officials today said they had found the Omicron variant in two test samples that were taken on November 19 and 23rd. It’s not clear yet whether these people had visited Southern Africa.
At least 14 people on two flights from Johannesburg and Cape Town arrived in the Netherlands on November 26th, carried the new variant. By Monday, almost 40 countries had imposed restrictions on travellers arriving from South Africa, with more than 10 international airlines servicing major routes grounding flights.
And, Emirates says it will restart its flights from Dubai to Johannesburg, on 1 December. This comes after sudden cancellations left travellers stranded.
The airline says it will operate four weekly flights from Dubai to Johannesburg throughout the month of December.
Emirates says its flights to and from Dubai to Durban and Cape Town would remain suspended, until further notice.
It also won’t be flying passengers out of South Africa, due to the United Arab Emirates ongoing travel ban.
The chief medical adviser to the USA government Dr Anthony Fauci says he is in virtually constant contact with South African scientists, as the research continues on the new variant.
Fauci told news agency CNN, that so far, not much is known about the severity of illness, that could be caused by the new variant.
He maintains the communication channels remain open, this after the USA like many other countries closed its borders to Southern African travellers with the announcement that the Omicron was first identified in Southern Africa.