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New samples confirm that Omicron was in Europe 11 days before SA scientists alerted the world

New samples confirm that Omicron was in Europe 11 days before SA scientists alerted the world

While South African scientists may have been the first to raise the alarm regarding the new Omicron variant, Dutch health authorities state that the variant has been traced to cases dating as far back as 11 days ago. 

According to authorities, this would mean that the variant was spreading across western Europe before the first cases were identified in southern Africa, with the RIVM health institute stating that it found Omicron in two samples dated November 19 and 23, reports CBS News

The first cases of Omicron were first thought to be introduced to the Netherlands via the arrival of two flights from South Africa on Sunday. Fourteen people on the flight from Cape Town to Amsterdam tested positive for Omicron, among 61 passengers who were found to have contracted COVID-19.

According to BBC, while it remains unclear whether these two samples were taken from individuals who visited southern Africa, it is clear that Omicron was in the Netherlands a lot earlier than was first thought. However, the samples do not predate cases in southern Africa, which was first found on November 9.  

Belgium and Germany are two other countries that have confirmed that Omicron was spreading within its borders before South African officials alerted the world on November 24. 

The discovery of the new variant and subsequent announcement came with a number of hasty travel bans placed on South Africa from a host of European countries including the UK, Denmark and France. Speaking to the nation on Sunday, November 28, President Cyril Ramaphosa labelled these bans as unjustified and discriminatory and not backed by science.

Mandatory vaccinations likely to be imposed

Picture: Cape {town} Etc Gallery

The post New samples confirm that Omicron was in Europe 11 days before SA scientists alerted the world appeared first on CapeTown ETC.

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