Testing shows Omicron coronavirus variant spreading in the Netherlands
One person in the Netherlands who was determined to be infected with the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus did not recently travel outside of the country. It is not yet clear how they acquired the infection, a spokesperson for the RIVM told Nu.nl.
The new revelation was made just as the RIVM said the spread of the coronavirus was stabilizing after new infections hit a record high. "If that trend continues, we will now reach the peak. We are seeing positive signs," said Aura Timen, head of infectious disease control at the RIVM, in an interview with ANP.
A total of 16 people in the country have been diagnosed with the variant, believed to be more contagious than the Delta variant which has been most prevalent in the Netherlands since the summer. Fourteen of those infected were on one of two KLM flights that landed at Schiphol on Friday.
The other two infections were determined from samples submitted to a laboratory in Utrecht. One of those samples was collected on November 19. The other was four days later. It was not clear where the two people reside.
The RIVM told Nu.nl that those two people do not have a direct connection to each other. One of them had traveled in a Southern Africa country before their coronavirus test. It was not revealed which countries that person visited.
The remaining infection concerns the person believed to have been infected in the Netherlands. A source and contact investigation was not completed by Tuesday afternoon.